No good deed goes unpunished! Employees who go the extra mile in their work are more likely to be exploited by their bosses who see them as easy targets for extra tasks, research shows
- Such employees are more likely to stay late or perform tasks that are not in their job description
- Being too committed to work can backfire on employees, researchers say
Employees who go the extra mile in their work are more likely to be exploited by their bosses, a study shows.
Managers take advantage of employees who show the greatest loyalty, seeing them as easy targets for additional tasks.
Researchers found that such employees are more likely to be asked to stay late, do things that aren’t in their job description, or even take work with them on vacation.
They warn that being overly committed to work can backfire on employees and negatively affect their career and family life.
Loyalty in the workplace has traditionally been praised as an admirable trait of most employees.
Researchers found that such employees are more likely to be asked to stay late, do things not in their job description or even take work with them on vacation
Managers benefit from employees who show the greatest loyalty, the study found. File image
It means they are more likely to fully commit to their role and less likely to move on to rival employers.
Most businesses rely on employee loyalty to ensure that business runs smoothly with minimal disruption.
But the latest study, by researchers at Duke University in North Carolina, USA, suggests that many bosses abuse staff dedication.
The study, conducted by Duke University in North Carolina, USA, presented managers with two employee profiles. One had a reputation for being loyal to his boss, the other was much less likely to be loyal.
They were asked which they would ask to work late without extra pay or to perform unpopular tasks without pay. The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, showed that bosses were more willing to take advantage of loyal employees than to let those with less effort do the job.
The researchers said: ‘Managers assume that loyal employees will do this extra work mainly because loyalty comes with an expectation of self-sacrifice to the organization as a whole.
“But it seems unlikely that managers expect a disloyal employee to show such self-sacrifice.”
Professor Cary Cooper, an expert in organizational psychology and health at the University of Manchester, said: ‘Good people are often dumped by organizations or individual managers without the recognition that comes with it, such as more money or a promotion.
Part of the problem is that many managers are technically very skilled but have terrible people skills.
“They’re the kind that will most likely try to exploit the loyalty of the staff.”