I’d say that in general, most people can agree in clear, black and white terms on which types of dishonesty are okay and not okay. Lying to protect a loved one’s feelings — okay. Stealing a car or large sum of money and letting someone else take the fall for it — not okay.
But what about taking Post-It notes from the office supply closet to use at home? Or stealing time from your employer by spending worktime on ESPN.com so you can stream the day’s marquee World Cup match? Okay or not okay?
How people would act in those situations is a bit fuzzier and grayer, and that’s what Psychtests.com sought to reveal with its honesty test.
Although statistics vary when it comes to how many dollars employers lose as a result of employee dishonesty — time theft, actual theft and other lies — Psychtests.com believes a good annual estimate is in the several millions.
In addition, studies show that in companies where testing has been implemented, theft and other forms of dishonest behaviors have decreased dramatically. Research also has found a reasonably strong link between integrity test results and overall job performance.
So would you be interested in saving your company millions of dollars and improving overall employee performance by implementing mandatory honesty testing? You might be after reading Psychtests.com’s results.
Of more than 1,600 test-takers, the average score on the honesty test was 70, indicating that while most people may be tempted to lie, they are fairly honest on most occasions.
However, 49% of people worked in a position where colleagues were consistently and purposely unproductive — long breaks, leaving early, intentionally working slowly — classic cases of time theft.
Also on the subject of time theft, 21% admit that they spend at least an hour surfing the Internet for fun while at work, and 13% confess that had a camera been present to film their every move, they would have worked harder and taken fewer breaks.
And it’s not just time employees are stealing; 28% have said that they've stolen small things from their employer, like food and office supplies.
As if the stealing weren’t enough, then there’s the lying. Some 30% of people admit that they've lied to get out of trouble at work, and 6% would cover for a coworker who stole a large amount of money from the company's petty cash.
Is companywide honesty testing looking any better? Do you want to know how honest you are? Click here to get your honesty test results and then leave the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the comments.
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