Predicting which employees will display bad behaviour
We recently posted an article about counter-productive work behaviours. These behaviours are pervasive and can spread through a workplace at a cost to the employer.
The study on counter-productive work behaviour by SACS Consulting found that 56 per cent of employees left jobs because they did not get along with a colleague. Managing Director of SACS Consulting Andrew Marty believes one way to deal with counter-productive workplace behaviour is to not hire the bad eggs in the first place. The study found that by evaluating a prospective employee’s personality and values they could predict counter-productive workplace antics 45 per cent of the time. On average interviews are only 10 to 15 per cent effective at determining these traits.
“There is substantial evidence that negative behaviours such as counter-productive work behaviours and violence have a genetic component to them.” Mr Marty says. “To coach somebody to overcome a strong genetic tendency can be as difficult to do as to sit them in a chair and coach them to get taller or to change their eye colour. On the other hand, if people can be shown not to have these genetic tendencies then coaching, education and guidance will prove to be highly effective.”
Interpersonal and organisational behaviours were both analysed. Interpersonal bad behaviour is directed at colleagues, on the other hand organisational bad behaviour is directed against the company. Counter-productive work behaviour is always a conscious act and can include affecting the productivity of the organisation such as being late, goldbricking, gossiping and favouritism. It can also include more serious behaviour such as theft, sexual harassment and workplace bullying.
Key predictors of interpersonal bad behaviour were: sociability, modesty, fairness and forgiveness. Employees who had these four traits were much less likely to exhibit counter-productive work behaviour. Key predictors of good organisational work behaviours were diligence, gentleness, organisation (a planned and structured person) and again, fairness.
By isolating certain personality traits during recruitment as risk factors, businesses can better manage counterproductive work behaviour. HR consulting can help your business implement HR management and training to address bad behaviour in the workplace.