Why you should NOT be loyal at work: Dedicated employees are more likely to be given additional tasks and ask for unpaid overtime, study finds
- Researchers have found that corporate loyalty is a double-edged sword
- Managers exploit loyal employees over less committed colleagues
You might think that a loyal worker is the key to getting far in your career.
But if you’re a dedicated worker, you’re more likely to get extra work and unpaid overtime, a study suggests.
Researchers have found that corporate loyalty is a double-edged sword, as managers exploit loyal employees over less committed colleagues.
The team, led by Duke University, conducted a series of experiments involving nearly 1,400 executives online.
Participants read about a fictional 29-year-old employee named John, and the managers all learned that John’s company was on a tight budget.
If you’re a dedicated worker, you’re more likely to get extra work and unpaid overtime, a study suggests (stock image)
To keep costs down, they had to decide how willing they would be to give John extra hours and responsibilities without extra pay.
Regardless of how the researchers framed the scenario, branding John as “loyal” led to a greater willingness to recruit him for unpaid work, compared to versions of John who were “more honest,” “honest,” or “more disloyal.”
The findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that the reverse was also true.
When John was portrayed as having a reputation for accepting extra hours and workloads, managers rated him as more loyal than if he had a reputation for rejecting the same workload.
Lead researcher Matthew Stanley said: ‘It’s a vicious cycle.
Loyal employees are often singled out for exploitation. And then when they do something that’s exploitative, they end up getting a boost in their reputation as loyal employees, making them more likely to get picked in the future.”
The scientists said they believe managers target loyal employees because they believe loyalty comes with a duty to make personal sacrifices for their company.
But they cautioned that while loyalty to the company seems to have consequences, it doesn’t mean we should just give up on work commitments or dodge uncompensated overtime.
Instead, this is just an unfortunate side effect of a mostly positive trait, they said.
“I don’t mean to suggest that taking away the paper is not to be loyal to anyone, because it will only lead to disaster,” added Stanley.
“We value people who are loyal. We think positively about them and they are often rewarded.
It’s not just the negative side. It’s really difficult and complex.’
Bad news for bosses: “Stop Silence” trend for micro breaks actually makes employees BETTER at their jobs
“Quitting quietly” is a trend that TikTok has adopted in recent weeks, with Gen Z employees doing the bare minimum at work to avoid burnout.
The trend has been largely criticized by experts, one of whom calls it a “short-term fix.”
However, a new study suggests that the trend could actually make workers better at their jobs.
Researchers at the West University of Timioara found that taking small breaks can boost energy and reduce fatigue at work.
“Micropauses are efficient in maintaining high levels of strength and reducing fatigue,” the researchers wrote in their study, published in PLOS ONE.
While micro-breaks didn’t seem to affect task performance, the researchers found that longer breaks did.
Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that bosses should offer their employees a combination of microbreaks and longer breaks.