Counterproductive Work Behavior

Counterproductive Work Behavior

During my many years of work experience in corporate sector, some things that I have observed in various companies, about employee behavior have many times surprised me.

Let me explain with below example.

When there is an open position at the Organization, as an HR, or Hiring Manager or the CEO of the Organization, you do your best to attract the most talented and culturally fit professionals to your teams.

You meet many candidates and shortlist the best ones. After choosing which candidate to hire, as one last step, you collect background information and conduct reference checks to validate your decision. Then you are 100 percent sure that you are hiring the best candidate/s.

After the candidate is hired, from time to time you meet the manager of the new hired person or coworkers and collect information/feedback about them. All feedback is positive.

You, feel confident and proud that you are playing a great role in bringing the best candidates to the Organization.

After a while, you start to hear some negative things about those new hires. Sometimes you hear that, the person had serious conflicts with their managers or coworkers, or a fraud case had taken place, or they had stolen something from work or other related misconducts.

You then think that, these people that you had hired, had many years of work experience in various other companies and never had such problems. What happened that, these took place when they are at your organization or working for a specific manager or department.

Of course, it is obvious that from time to time you will come across some “bad apples”.

But what is the reason that, those amazing people that you had attracted to the organization, sometimes turn out to be taking harmful and destructive actions against the organization?

Usually conditions your Organization creates, forms the individual’s future behavior. And this does not apply to new hires only. Here, it is mentioned as an example.

Toxic culture has a great implication on the behaviors of people. Depending on the situation people react differently. Here, there is a great role managers/supervisors should play.

One example could be, when the employees do their best at work, produce good results and behave well, some managers or organizations do not recognize them, do not give any positive feedback to them or do not reward them.

On the contrary when they misbehave, or have a minor misconduct or their productivity goes down, the organization (or their direct managers) strives to take punitive actions against those individuals.

The other case would be, in some organizations, sometimes employees are pushed to work longer hours and usually do not get recognized for that or do not get extra pay or benefits.

When faced with such situations, there is a mindset formed in the heads of the employees that, the Organizations owes to them. So, when there is possibility of stealing, being absent or doing any harm to the organization or taking advantage of any situation, they actually commit that.

There is a mindset that, if my overworking is not recognized, then I deserve to take any valuable things from work to home, make abuses, do harmful things such as stealing, gossiping, absenteeism, tardiness and other destructive actions.

In other words, this is how employees get their “revenge” from the organization they are working for.

In business books this is usually explained as Counterproductive Work Behavior.

What can organizations do?

Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB) doesn’t just happen for no reason. If the organization can identify the predictors of CWB it can be avoided.

Many times CWB is a response to perceived unfairness, and it is emotional reaction to it, a way to try to restore an employee’s sense of equity exchange.

People who are not satisfied with their work become frustrated, which lowers their performance and makes them more likely to commit such misconduct.

As a result from time to time you might see that, some workers quit, others might use work time to spend time on the Internet or take work supplies home for personal use.

Trying to control only one behavior with policies and punishments leaves the root cause unnoticed. Employers should try to find and correct the source of the problem—the main dissatisfaction, rather than try to control the different responses.

One of the best ways to deal with that is, to conduct surveys, improve communication, have open door policy, meritocracy as well as be fair and build trust.

Managers should be aware that being interested in their employees’ attitudes actually pays off. Because attitudes influence behavior. And doing their best to improve employee attitudes will result in positive outcomes.

Similar blogs
Send artIcle

What is APA Blog?

APA Information Agency offers a platform for experts, public figures, young specialists to exchange their opinions, to share reviews. The trend of the well-known information agencies of the world Blog is already in APA. Each well-known person can post his/her opinion, review, analysis which do not contradict Azerbaijani legislation and international conventions. APA Blog is a platform which has been established to post the articles, expert reviews in Azerbaijani, Russian and English languages. The people who will use the platform can send their short autobiographical information about themselves, photos and articles to APA Blog. The articles after reviewing by the editors of the platform will be posted on the Blog.

Latest articles
Elman Nasirov
Political scientist

Elman Nasirov

Jeyhun Osmanli
Political scientist

Jeyhun Osmanli

Zaur Mammadov
Political scientist

Zaur Mammadov