More than 1-in-5 Quebec workers dishonest about reasons for absenteeism

Management's lack of communication, openness may prompt lies: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/30/2011

Twenty-three per cent of Quebec workers admit they've lied about their reasons for missing work, up from seven per cent in 2005, according to a survey of 540 workers by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA), Quebec’s HR association. 

"This attitude doesn't systematically reflect workers' ill will. In some organizations, lack of communication and openness on the part of management prompts employees to lie," said Florent Francoeur, president and CEO of CRHA.

And HR is recognizing this trend. More than 75 per cent of HR professionals said "stealing time" was the most widespread phenomenon in the workplace, according to another brief survey conducted by CRHA.

Are ethics an issue in Quebec organizations?

When Quebec workers were asked if they had ever concealed information or lied to their co-workers or to a superior about their work, 18 per cent responded they had. Cross tabulated with the findings of another study recently conducted by the CRHA on conflicts in the workplace, this figure climbs to 29 per cent in organizations where conflicts are frequent, said CRHA.

The survey also found more men (22 per cent) than women (14 per cent) occasionally tell a lie or omit certain information and these practices are more common among young people aged 18 to 34 (23 per cent).

"Pressure on workers is increasing and missing work isn't always viewed as acceptable. Organizations would be well advised to provide a healthy work environment and to listen to their employees' needs," said Francoeur. "Absenteeism is on the rise and, whether it's through the direct costs it represents or the decline in employee motivation it reflects, organizations are always the ones that suffer."

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