Over-qualified? Join the Crowd

I know I've been there.  Hired to flip burgers when I have a B.S. in journalism and have spent many years in (high-paying) corporate environments. 

But overqualified employees are a boon to businesses.  Of course. 

A new study found that, while overqualified  — the condition of employees who believe that their qualifications exceed the requirements of their jobs — has been widely considered harmful for organizations (which is why most companies shy away from such job applicants), it's quite the opposite.

Researchers spent six months conducting interviews and studies of 11 information technology companies in China and discovered that, "when individual employees feel that they are not the only ‘big fish in the pond,’ and when overqualification becomes a norm rather than exception within the group, they tend to have more favorable reactions toward their own over-qualification status and perform better," newswise.com reports.

A lot of words to say we're cut down to size.

Researchers believe managers may benefit from understanding that, as overqualification becomes normalized in the workplace, it exerts a more positive influence over such behaviors as job performance and citizenship.

“Organizations should celebrate employees’ qualifications when they are first brought on board and point out how these overqualified employees are in good company by highlighting that they will be working with a highly qualified group," say researchers.  "Managers could also encourage more interactions among members to build team spirit, emphasizing the importance of benefiting others through one’s work, and highlight the interpersonal compatibility within a group to promote the positive influence of over-qualification on employee attitudes and behaviors.”

So, like I said, it stinks for us but employers are making out big time! 


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