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Survey: Nearly One-in-Five Workers Admit to Telling Lies at the Office
February 28, 2006
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Chicago, Ill., – Ever get the feeling your co-worker’s pants are on fire? Your instincts may be right if a new survey by CareerBuilder.com is anything to go by, with 19 percent of workers admitting they tell lies at the office at least once a week. Nearly one-in-four hiring managers – 24 percent – say they have fired an employee for being dishonest. The survey, “Honesty in the Workplace,” was completed in December 2005 and featured more than 2,050 workers, including 1,000 hiring managers.

Fifteen percent of workers reported they were caught in a lie at the office. When asked why they felt compelled to bend the truth at work, respondents cited the following reasons:

  • To appease a customer (26 percent)
  • To cover up a failed project, mistake or missed deadline (13 percent)
  • To explain an unexcused absence or late arrival (8 percent)
  • To protect another employee (8 percent)
  • To get another employee in trouble or look better in front of a supervisor (5 percent)

“It may seem cliché, but honesty is the best policy,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com. “Even if you are motivated by the best of intentions, being deceitful can seriously compromise your credibility with colleagues and negatively impact your career progress. The vast majority of hiring managers – 85 percent – say they are less likely to promote an employee who has lied to them or other members of the organization.”

The most common lies workers say they have told at the office include:

  • I don’t know how that happened (20 percent)
  • I have another call to take or I’ll call you right back (16 percent)
  • I’ve been out of town or out sick (10 percent)

I like your outfit or you look great (8 percent)

  • I didn’t get your email, voicemail or fax (8 percent)

For more information on CareerBuilder.com surveys, visit: http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pr_main.aspx

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