The short answer to this question is YES! What to do about it requires breaking down the question. Let's begin with what constitutes "workplace environment." OSHA, local and state laws dictate that a law-abiding employer will have a safe, healthy workplace. Setting aside physical concerns leaves psychological and relationship issues as the remaining contributors to workplace environment.

According to a survey conducted by American Management Association (AMA), supervisors' character affects employee performance and retention rates dramatically. The survey found 84% of employees who report to "kind" managers said they plan to work for their company for a long time. Whereas only 47% of employees with "unkind" bosses planned a long career with their company. When asked if they gave maximum effort at work, 70% with kind bosses indicated yes, but only 54% of the employees who had bullying managers agreed. Edward T. Reilly, CEO of the AMA said, "It's the law of reciprocity: When a manager shows concern, his or her employees, in turn, support the manager. They do this by putting forth a maximum effort, being more dedicated to the organization, and by helping to achieve corporate goals."

The second part of the question refers to employees' ability to "work with each other." Jon Katzenbach, author of The Wisdom of Teams, observes, "There is virtually no environment in which teams-if done right-can't have a measurable impact on the performance of an organization." The heart of Jon's statement is teams "done right." The key to how the team functions is the responsibility of the leader. Ultimately the tipping point in the relationship between employee and supervisor comes down to two key elements: Kindness and Decisiveness. The combination of these traits leads to four types of leader.

1. Kind and Decisive: This leader recognizes the value of her employees and expresses it regularly. She outlines clear goals and fairly distributes the workload. She won't micromanage and sees her role as supporting the team. She is quick to step in when needed and will provide unambiguous direction when the team is having difficulty. She creates an ideal team environment.

2. Kind and Indecisive: A nice guy who rarely has an unkind word, this manager tries to make his team happy. He always has something pleasant to say, but has difficulty dealing with team problems. He leaves as many decisions as possible to the team without giving clear overall instructions. His behavior makes for a happy but non-productive team environment.

3. Unkind and Decisive: This forceful personality does not suffer fools lightly. She is abrasive, inconsiderate and not open to team input. She makes decisions quickly and expects the team to ask, "How high?" when she says, "Jump!" Compliments or the words, "Good job," rarely escape her lips. Her team can be productive, but she will experience high turnover.

4. Unkind and Indecisive: This boss gives unclear and/or conflicting instructions, often changing his mind in the middle of a project. He moves teammates around from job to job, trying hopelessly to find the right mix of talent. No matter what problems arise they are never, ever his fault. He is quick to blame and will always find a scapegoat for the problems he has created. This has to be the least productive team environment.

The workplace environment created by a manager makes or breaks the ability of teammates to work with each other. Given good leadership even people who don't really like each other can form a productive team. As the team matures, working relationships improve and personal animosity decreases. The complete answer to the question in the title of this article is "YES, and if the leader has good managerial skills the team will work together well.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Highsmith,, is President of Quality Team Building. He has twenty-five years experience training and coaching. He has built and sold two successful businesses. To learn more about becoming a team leader visit our website at or call Rick toll-free at 1-888-484-8326 X101.