Does kissing up to your boss work?

By Noah Graff

Chicago Public Radio discussed a study today showing that employees giving gifts to bosses generally improves their treatment at work, even if bosses know they are trying to kiss up.

Ron Deluga, Professor of psychology at Bryant University in Rhode Island, surveyed 150 people and their bosses. Bosses graded their employees on a scale of one to five on a variety of ingratiating behaviors like giving compliments, gifts, agreeing with opinions etc. The employees also graded themselves on that same behavior.

Even though both the supervisor and the given subordinate agreed on the extent to which that subordinate would kiss up it actually seemed to be effective. When Deluga crunched all the numbers on the surveys and employee evaluations, he calculated that employees who kiss up receive a five percent premium for their efforts. Not enough to overcome poor performance, but maybe enough to give them an edge when applying for a promotion.


Question: Have you ever found that kissing up to a boss benefited you in the workplace?

Or, do you think that you as a boss have treated employess better because they kissed up to you?

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