Dr Rob Yeung is a chartered psychologist and coach at consulting firm Talentspace

Research increasingly suggests that an imbalance between the effort invested in a job and the rewards received for it are linked to poorer physical health. A study that tracked 90,164 men and women for a decade found that individuals who reported investing high effort into their jobs for low rewards were more likely to experience coronary heart disease.

It won’t be just your self-esteem that suffers from tolerating an effort-reward imbalance

High effort is typically indicated by stronger agreement with questionnaire statements such as ‘I have constant time pressure due to a heavy workload’ and ‘Over the past few years, my job has become more and more demanding’. Rewards are not limited only to financial compensation; they are also indicated by stronger disagreement with statements such as ‘My job promotion prospects are poor’, and agreement with statements including ‘Considering all my efforts and achievements, I receive the respect and prestige I deserve at work’.

So to what extent do you feel adequately rewarded – not just in terms of remuneration but also recognition and appreciation – for your efforts? If you feel that the imbalance serves your organisation but not you, make a plan. Volunteer assertively for projects that will gain you the skills and experience to make you more valued in the marketplace. Bolster your qualifications if needed. After all, it won’t be just your self-esteem that suffers from tolerating an effort-reward imbalance.

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