Loyalty in an employee is often considered a great trait to have in the workplace. It comes when the employee tends to stay for a lengthy period of time in the company. You might have come across such dedicated professionals, who are loyal at work. I know I have. It is believed that loyal employees are less likely to quit and find another job for themselves. These professionals choose to remain in the same company and work harder for its success as they feel valued by their bosses.

Source: Inc. Magazine

Does this loyalty really work for you in the long run? A study conducted by Duke University is your answer to it.

According to Daily Mail, the research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology claims that devoted employees are more likely to be exploited by their employers. The study suggests that loyal employees apparently get extra work and unpaid overtime. It termed the company’s loyalty as ‘double-edged sword’ through which managers exploit loyal workers more than less-committed ones.

Source: Better Up

Researchers conducted the study with nearly 1,400 managers who participated online. The participants were provided a fictional story to read about John, a 29-year-old employee whose company had a limited budget to work in. They had to form opinions on whether they would ask John to work overtime without him getting an extra pay in order to cut the expenses.

Here’s what the researchers found out:

Participants branding John as ‘loyal’ led to a rise in his willingness to engage himself in the unpaid work as compared to those who didn’t.

Source: Forbes

The study further suggests that when John was portrayed as someone who could accept more work and extra hours, managers evaluated John as more ‘loyal’ than during the times when he had a reputation for declining workload.

Lead researcher Matthew Stanley called it a “vicious cycle”.

“Loyal workers tend to get picked out for exploitation. And then when they do something that’s exploitative, they end up getting a boost in their reputation as a loyal workers, making them more likely to get picked out in the future,” Stanley said, the website stated.

Stressing on not to abandon professional commitments due to disadvantages of loyalty at work, researchers added that it is just an “unfortunate side-effect of a mostly positive trait”.

So, are you loyal at work?