Attractive Business Owners Distract Employees
Good-looking bosses can be a major distraction for employees and even create resentment in the workplace, according to research by recruitment firm HireScores.com.
In a survey of 1,886 employees, some 53 per cent of women admitted that they would feel “intimidated” if they had a male boss who was attractive, while 47 per cent of men said they would be “distracted” by an attractive female boss, writes Kate Horstead.
The problem is even worse among members of the same sex, with 86 per cent of men admitting they would feel threatened by a handsome male boss, and 61 per cent of women confessing they would feel jealous of an attractive female business owner or manager.
According to Acas equality specialist, Steve Williams, such feelings of resentment can easily spill over into harassment.
“If a manager is treated unfavourably by a subordinate because he or she happens to be attractive to that particular employee, that’s undermining to the individual, and belittling, which is a form of harassment,” he said.
“It’s just as bad as a business owner refusing to employ someone because they are ugly – this is just the other side of the coin.
“Ultimately, if the business owner or manager feels they are being treated disrespectfully because of their looks, then they may want to talk to the individual and point out to the employee that this is unacceptable,” he added.
HireScores.com founder, Lisa Howlett, suggested the business owner could keep their distance from employees to gain their respect.
“Managers need to maintain a sensible distance between themselves and their staff,” said Howlett. “It must never be forgotten that unless the management and staff relationship is kept professional there will be problems at some point in the working relationship.
“Managers need to deal sensitively with this issue, as with any other issue where something is getting in the way of a productive and effective workplace,” she added.
However, Williams disagreed that good-looking managers should need to alter their management style.
“I’ve met managers who can work closely with colleagues and still retain their respect, and be seen as the boss, while others find that having a distance suits them better,” he said. “Everyone in a workplace should be judged by how well they do their job, not how they look.”
For more information on bullying and harassment in the workplace, visit the Acas website www.acas.org.uk