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Service with a smile hides misery of staff left feeling 'exhausted and cynical'
Have a nice day The effort of always appearing friendly and cheerful comes at an emotional cost for the server
It may boost your day to have a friendly waitress serving you coffee first thing in the morning. But new research has revealed service with a smile comes at an emotional cost for the server.
The American-inspired dictate of always appearing friendly and cheerful with customers can leave staff feeling emotionally exhausted and cynical.
A team of psychologists, led by Doctor Cristina Quinoqes-Garcia of the University of Northampton Business School, asked 199 customer service employees to complete a questionnaire.
It measured the extent to which they were
required to simulate emotion in their jobs, the amount of effort they
had to put in to achieve this and the extent to which they were
emotionally exhausted and cynical.
The results showed that people who felt they had to make a greater effort than most to simulate cheerfulness were significantly likely to be left feeling both emotionally exhausted and cynical.
Dr Quinoqes-Garcia said: 'This study has two practical implications.
'The perceived effort of candidates should be evaluated at the recruitment stage as this could help identify those individuals who are more vulnerable to burnout.
'And organisations should have mechanisms in place to help employees build resources that help them cope with the emotional labour they have to carry out when dealing with customers.'
The findings were due to be presented today to the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology in Chester by psychologists from the University of Northampton Business School, the Autonoma University of Madrid and the University of Southampton.