Regardless of your job, you’re bound to experience some amount of stress at work. But it’s how you carry yourself while stressed, especially when around your boss, that could change your future at the company.
The positivity with which managers consider stress colors their views of employee workload, found a new study from Tel Aviv University.
For example, if a manager considers stress to be a useful motivator, they tend to be less aware of the heavy workload an employee has taken on. Employee “burnout” is less evident to managers who view stress positively.
“If a manager perceives that a certain employee doesn’t suffer from stress, that manager will be more likely to consider the employee worthy of promotion,” said principal investigator Professor Sharon Toker of TAU’s Coller School of Management.
The study broke stress consideration into two schools of thought: People who view it as a “positive/enhancing mindset” and those who viewed it is “debilitating”.
The members of the latter category—people who thought of stress as “debilitating”—were less likely to consider a hard-working yet stressed employee worthy of promotion, presumably because they wanted to avoid overtaxing their already stressed employees. Managers who viewed stress as a good thing, however, thought better of the hard-working employees, and thus considered them deserving of more work.
Both options come with faults though. Managers focused on the negatives of stress would likely be more conservative when it comes to promoting hard workers. Those who associate positive qualities with stress would be less sensitive to their workers’ mental health and less likely to adjust their workload.
Given all this new information, you ought to consider two things while at work: The way your boss considers stress and the way you show the effects of yours—it could affect your next promotion.
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