Beware of the Disgruntled Employees: Job Dissatisfaction Could Lead to Dishonesty

September 1, 20168:39 am1583 views

Some disgruntled employees will vent their frustrations by telling the social media world exactly how they feel about their boss and their company. Others sit and stew, dreading every minute they spend on the clock. Some just quit. But now managers have a new cause for concern when employee motivation is lagging: The disgruntled, dishonest employee.

Research from PsychTests reveals that employees who are not satisfied with their job tend to have a more liberal attitude towards dishonesty at work, including lying and stealing.

Analysing data from 1,609 employees who took their Integrity and Work Ethics Test, researchers focused on the stark contrast in attitude between those who expressed high levels of job satisfaction and those who didn’t. PsychTests’ study reveals that:

  • 51% of the dissatisfied employees have stolen something from their employer; 10% admitted that what they stole was of significant monetary value (compared to 39% and 3% of the satisfied employees, respectively).
  • 29% of the dissatisfied employees spend at least half an hour a day using the Internet at work for personal use (i.e. sending personal emails, visiting social media sites, etc.), compared to 22% of the satisfied employees.
  • 33% of the dissatisfied employees suggested that employees should not be punished for using the Internet at work, compared to 22% of the satisfied employees.
  • 18% of the dissatisfied employees admit that they would not tell their employer if they witnessed someone stealing at work, compared to 9% of the satisfied employees.
  • If their boss went on a vacation, 16% of the dissatisfied employees indicated they would slack off completely, compared to 6% of the satisfied employees.

See: 10 Ways to Manage Disgruntled Staffs

  • If their company had installed surveillance cameras, 14% of the dissatisfied employees confessed that they would have worked harder and taken fewer breaks, while 6% indicated that they would not have stolen from their employer (compared to 6% and less than 1% of the satisfied employees, respectively).
  • 11% of the dissatisfied employees have already been fired for theft or significant rule-breaking at work compared to 6% of the satisfied employees.

“Managers who dismiss the importance of employee motivation, delegation, and mentoring may find themselves making a costly error,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests.

“Our data shows that while dishonesty is not limited to disgruntled workers and often involves only minor offenses, the propensity to behave in such a way increases with job dissatisfaction. Keeping employees engaged and satisfied may not prevent all unsavory behaviors, but a commitment to the company would compel them to think twice.”

“Most people will not go down the slippery slope unless they feel ‘justified’ to do so … it could be retribution, a desire to ‘level the playing field’, an ‘us vs. them’ attitude, or simply the feeling that their manager or the company as a whole had it coming. Our research has already shown that a manager’s poor behaviour can increase turnover – the same can be said for dishonesty and theft as well.”

Also read: How to Deal with an Angry Workforce?

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