Magazine article Management Review

Employee Traps - Corruption in the Workplace

Magazine article Management Review

Employee Traps - Corruption in the Workplace

Article excerpt

The pressure is on, and, for many employees, that means performing illegal or unethical activities as a way to succeed in the workplace.

According to a recent survey, "Sources and Consequences of Workplace Pressure," conducted by International Communications Research (ICR), in conjunction with the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters & Chartered Financial Consultants (CLU & ChFC), and the Ethics Officer Association, more than half (56 percent) of the workers surveyed are under immense pressure, and just under half (48 percent) have decided to act upon this stress. More than half (60 percent) of those surveyed believe that they are under more workplace pressure now than they were five years ago.

"Many companies are going through mergers or acquisitions. This puts stress on the employees. Even when there is talk of a merger, people still worry about what will happen next," says John Driskill, executive vice president of the CLU & ChFC.

Driskill the adds that in the past five years, reengineering and downsizing have really peaked, contributing to the high levels of stress.

Overstressed workers had many varied reactions to this intense pressure: a little over a tenth (16 percent) cut corners on quality control, covered up incidents at work (14 percent), abused/lied about sick days (11 percent), and just under a tenth (9 percent) lied to and deceived customers.

Driskill speculates that these problems arise because of the rapid pace of working environments. "There are tight time lines, and some people have so many things going on in their lives, they feel it's necessary to take shortcuts to meet deadlines," he says.

Many factors have contributed to the increased corruption in the workplace. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed cited work-family imbalance as a source of workplace pressure, also pinpointing poor leadership (51 percent), poor internal communications (51 percent) and the work load (51 percent) within the company. One of the more surprising results of the survey was the discovery that men and women are equally identically affected by work-family imbalance: half of the men surveyed and 55 percent of the women respondents.

Some of the stress manifested itself in ways other than crime. More than three-quarters of those surveyed (88 percent) reported physical and/or psychological reactions to their pressure. …

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