HR Strange But True

Employees Behaving Badly?

No, that’s not the title of a new reality TV show, that’s the subject of a new survey recently released by management software company Better Buys! The survey was made up of responses from 2,000 people across the United States who worked in various industries. The survey’s goal was to see which bad employee behaviors survey respondents had witnessed on the job and which bad behaviors respondents had participated in themselves. The results would make any HR department cringe!

When it comes to coworker behavior, 54.8% of respondents say they’ve witnessed a coworker be consistently late, 53.7% say they witnessed coworkers gossiping behind someone’s back, and 53.2% have seen a coworker take a sick day when they weren’t even sick!

Don’t think supervisors and managers were spared! According to the survey, 37% of respondents have witnessed a boss publicly yell at someone, 20.8% have witnessed a boss use profanity, and even worse, 18.9% have witnessed a boss gossip behind someone’s back.

The survey also delved into the world of “sick” days, asking (by industry and job) who’s playing hooky? The most common industries that face fake sick days are education (50.2%), manufacturing (49.6%), and retail (46.6%). The most common jobs include customer service (50.5%), support staff (48.7%), and trained professionals (47.5%).

Not surprisingly, some of the same industries that feature chronic “sick” days are also the same industries responsible for poor behavior. For example, when it comes to being consistently late, workers in the education industry top the list (63.7%). Workers in the manufacturing industry are also guilty of gossiping (65%), taking a sick day without proper reason (62.4%), and yelling at someone (70.1%).

But faking a sick day doesn’t seem so bad compared to some of the other terrible behaviors employees have seen. Respondents say they’ve witnessed coworkers embezzle money (only 1% of respondents cite this, but it was ranked as the most serious problem behavior) and get into a physical fight on the job (7%). Most startling of all, 21% of respondents state they’ve witnessed someone do drugs at work.

The survey also broke down behaviors by region and gender. The South is notoriously late and always socializing, and the Midwest is guilty of the most gossip. Females take more “sick” days (45%) than males (38%) and are guiltier of gossiping about coworkers (30%) than males (19%). More men have admitted to using profanity on the job (29%) than women (24%) and take longer lunches (28%) than women (25%), as well.

To view more survey results, click here.