A new study from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business finds that bosses who can't tear themselves away from their phone long enough to pay attention to their employees (called "phubbing"), erode trust.
Specifically, the study of 413 supervisors and employees finds:
"Phubbing is a harmful behavior. It undermines any corporate culture based on respect for others. Thus, it is crucial that corporations create a culture embodied by care for one another," says James Roberts, a Baylor professor of marketing and author of a book on phone addiction.
Researchers say that in order to cut down on phubbing and improve a company culture, companies need to:
1. Make it OK not to respond immediately to texts or emails. When meeting with team members, bosses should give them undivided attention.
2. Let employees rate bosses. Team members need to be able to give their opinions on whether the boss is attentive when needed -- and have those ratings tied to the boss's performance evaluation.
3. Provide training. Giving up phubbing won't be easy, and bosses may need some training in better face-to-face communications and how to give up a smartphone addiction.
4. Put it in writing. Smartphone use rules need to be set clearly, as well as the consequences for violating them.