- When workers experience impostor syndrome — strong doubt concerning their professional capabilities — they are emotionally exhausted and gain less satisfaction from their family lives, according to new research from professors at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, the University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee and the University of Houston.
- While the researchers found that impostor syndrome does cause workers' professional and family roles to conflict, they found that employees with the phenomenon did not appear to have lower job satisfaction as a result of a conflict, a press release noted.
- The researchers recommended that managers watch for warning signs of the impostor phenomenon: "These accomplished employees are emotionally drained and struggle maintaining family and work demands," Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology at University of Houston-Clear Lake Lisa Sublett said. "Our study also adds legitimacy to discussing imposter phenomenon as an important talent development issue, especially for high-potential employees." Expressions such as "I was lucky" or "I was in the right place at the right time" may tip managers off to an employee's struggles with impostor syndrome, the researchers said.
As this research confirms, employers may feel pressed to address issues like imposter syndrome, stress and other mental health concerns within their workforces. Workers are more stressed today than they were just two years ago, according to respondents in a recent CareerCast survey. And a separate study from LinkedIn Learning found that workload may be the biggest cause of work-related stress.
While a majority of workers complain about stress, most said they believe they lack ready access to care for it, according to a survey from Ginger. And while most workers said they think their managerial team can spot an employee who is exhibiting mental health problems, research from Unum revealed that only tiny percentage of HR professionals said the same thing of managers.
Managers' inability to spot and address stress in their workers could have negative business implications. Worker stress costs employers billions in lost productivity, a Colonial Life study found; businesses may want to make equipping managers to deal with stress a priority.
More resources are becoming available as more employees ask for help with their own mental health and wellbeing. The U.S. Department of Labor recently offered a mental health toolkit employers can use to understand and support workers. A mental health coalition has also made similar resources available to help businesses build a culture of wellness.