The workplace is an environment that thrives on honesty and clarity. Despite this, a new survey from Glassdoor has revealed that a shocking half of UK employees have lied at work, with primary reasons for doing so being to avoid getting into trouble and to hide mistakes.
So why have workers chosen to fib whilst working? The research found that 40% of employees who have lied at work have done so because it is easier to agree with the majority, and one-quarter because their boss or colleagues don’t like to hear diverse opinions.
This presents a key issue to bosses and HR, as those who are unwilling to share how they actually feel are likely doing so because they feel that their corporate culture isn’t open and inclusive.
In fact, these worrying statistics may well be a sign that a significant amount of businesses within the UK have a toxic culture at their core. For example, 39% of those surveyed by Glassdoor said that lying is commonplace where they work whilst 75% of employees believe that saying what you really think at work can get you into trouble.
Psychologist Dr. Paul Ekman recently told Forbes that lying in the workplace may come from a desire to placate those around us, but can swiftly turn into a damaging trend. “Whether it’s to avoid an awkward social situation, to escape blame or to satisfy our personal agenda, our minds attempt to excuse lies with reasoning.
“As we become better at creating false justifications, we blur the lines between right and wrong and allow lies to become a regular aspect of everyday life,” he added.
Glassdoor’s research found that currently, only 54% of workers believe that their employer values authenticity amongst employees.
This means that nearly half are confident that lying at work is not only expected but actually rewarded. This may well be because, worryingly, only half of those surveyed believe their CEO and senior leaders are authentic.