You might think that your hardest, most dedicated workers are the ones who need the least management intervention to stay motivated, but according to a new study out of Florida State University, that’s not the case. Workaholics can actually burn out, become frustrated with their workload or even grow resentful of coworkers.
After studying over 400 employees in administrative or professional occupations, Wayne Hochwarter, a professor of business administration at Florida State, found that 60 percent say that they feel “guilty when taking time off.” Hochwarter also discovered that workaholics were more likely than others to experience tension or resentment with their colleagues.
“We found that there is an optimal level of workaholism for job effectiveness and positive health,” he explained. “However, when in excessively low or high ranges, both the company and the employee are likely to suffer.”
How can managers effectively manage a workaholic? Hochwarter offers the following tips, based on his findings:
- Give your workaholics resources. Workers with resources were more likely to feel fulfilled and satisfied at work and less likely to feel frustrated or burned out.
- Avoid overworking them. “Having realistic expectations that take into account both the work and the person doing the work is essential,” said Hochwarter.
- Don’t misunderstand their goals. Workaholics don’t want others to merely “get out of their way,” as Brian Amble of Management-Issues writes. Instead, they’re looking for concrete ways to succeed — both for the company and in their career.
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