In the new research conducted by Jerald Greenberg professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University 's Fisher College of Business stated that pay cuts resulted in loss of money and sleep among the workers. The study was conducted in 4 hospitals in different cities in the Northeast.
In these hospitals the nurses received a pay cut which reduced their salary by 10%. The author conducted a supervisor training in these hospitals and published the results in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
Supervisor training includes the emotional support that is provided by the supervisor to the nurse (workers). About 467 nurses at the four hospitals participated in the research.
The nurses were asked to fill in the questionnaires, mainly dealing with their levels of insomnia, for 4 weeks before the pay cut. In the 5th week the nurses were informed about their pay cut and then they were asked to fill in the forms, which continued for the following four weeks. Results showed that nurses who experienced the pay cut showed dramatic increases in symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia (lack of sleep) is largely associated to workplace accidents and lowered productivity.
Greenberg conducted supervisor training in the hospital where the nurses received salary reductions as well as one, which did not have pay cuts. It was a four-hour training session conducted on consecutive days. The training involved the fair and proper treatment workers receive from authority figures such as supervisors.
Greenberg trained the supervisors on how to treat others with politeness, dignity and respect, how to show emotional support, and how to avoid intimidation, manipulation and degradation. He also explained the importance of providing thorough, accurate and complete explanations of key decisions, and the importance of being accessible to discuss issues with employees.
In the end the study showed that nurses who worked under the supervisors who received this training showed reduced levels of insomnia in the four weeks following the training. On the other hand those nurses whose supervisors did not receive the training saw small drops in insomnia levels after the four-week period.
He followed up the study after six months and found that nurses with trained supervisors saw their levels of insomnia reach those levels were they were just slightly higher than those nurses whose pay had not been cut at all. Those nurses with untrained supervisors saw small decreases in insomnia levels. Hence this proves that the training session was of a great help.
He said that it minimized the effects of insomnia and can be applied to other sources of job-related stress. In conclusion he said that it could be instituted as a preventive measure rather than a therapeutic measure.