How does cognitive dissonance affect performance and productivity?

As a result, cognitive dissonance begins to negatively affect employees. This can lead to low job satisfaction and poor work performance. If not resolved in due time, employees begin to be absent and try to avoid the workplace where they feel uncomfortable. When it comes to cognitive dissonance in the workplace, the first and most important step in dealing with DC-induced stress should be an internal analysis based on individual reach of control, operational structure, and a relationship of positional responsibility, responsibility and authority.

The cognitive dissonance experienced by employees in the workplace has become a widely recognized phenomenon that occurs as undesirable employee behavior and, consequently, has adverse outcomes for the organization. Chronic workplace stress caused by cognitive dissonance often causes a range of negative health effects, such as depression, fatigue, anxiety, and many others. Cognitive dissonance theory (CD) describes a condition of stress or a sense of inner discomfort caused by contradictory ideas, values, beliefs, or practices. The most common causes of cognitive dissonance in organizational support functions are factors such as the particular management or leadership style, harassment, discrimination, the application of double standards, inappropriate or unethical business practices, and many others.

Reducing dissonance by obtaining new information and, therefore, reducing the importance of cognitions is a simpler option. In the simplest terms, cognitive dissonance refers to the feelings of psychological stress or discomfort experienced by an individual due to conflicting internal ideologies. If not addressed in a timely manner, some cases of cognitive dissonance can easily push a person away from the organization and create the perception that the only way out of the situation is to file a report of work stress. For example, a human resources manager who is asked to fire an employee for misconduct without adequate evidence or with evidence that points against the measures being taken will experience significant cognitive dissonance.

Employees who suffer from cognitive dissonance tend to distance themselves and others, and disengage from the key processes of the organization that they intended to support and promote. As a result, dealing with cognitive dissonance becomes a necessary survival skill, especially since there are really only two options available. Cognitive dissonance in the workplace is common and is a major cause of stress for professionals working in organizational support functions, such as risk management and human resources. So how do we deal with cognitive dissonance? I would like to detail some tactics that I discovered during my research and that seem particularly useful to me.

In the author's opinion, the existence of absenteeism related to cognitive dissonance is very little recognized and underreported, which reduces the opportunities for introducing various corrective actions. There are many examples and scenarios that can cause cognitive dissonance in support functions, ranging from having to observe inappropriate and poor leadership practices to being asked to perform tasks that are not in line with procedures, rules, training, or organizational or personal values. Over time, if left unaddressed, most cases of chronic cognitive dissonance will cause people to leave organizations.

Hilary Gibbons
Hilary Gibbons

Subtly charming twitter ninja. Freelance zombie guru. Friendly bacon enthusiast. Tv scholar. Extreme food junkie.