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World - Workers can get by with a little help from friends

12 August 2011

A poll conducted by Monster Worldwide shows the fickle nature of work friendships. Thankfully, most of us can depend on friends at work to lend a helping hand when it's needed. 58% would step in if a friend was under-performing at work and they could help. 31% would report their friend to the boss if their performance was detrimental to the team or just if it helped them to get ahead.
 
10,676 workers worldwide responded to the question, 'A colleague you are friends with has been seriously underperforming, would you report him or her?' The findings were:
 
• Yes, if it will help me get ahead: 4%

• Yes, if the team's success is on the line: 27%

• No, if possible, I'd help my friend with work: 58%

• No, if the boss doesn't notice, it's not my concern: 11%
 
US respondents are the most likely globally to report their friend to the boss. 37% would tell the boss if the team's success was being jeopardised by their friend's performance, while over 5% are ambitious enough to do so to get ahead. This compares to 25% in Europe and 24% in Asia that would tell the boss if it was affecting the team, with under 4% of respondents in both regions doing so to get ahead in the company.
 
Under-performers should hope to be in Europe or Asia, as a staggering 70% wouldn't tell the boss, they'd either help the friend or just leave it to the boss to notice. 57% in the US said they wouldn't tell the boss.
 
Charles Purdy, Monster.com's Career Expert, commented "you might think that people would be likely to complain about under-performing colleagues, especially if it would help them get ahead. In reality, most are prepared to put friendship first and to help a co-worker who is having trouble. Of course, there are people who will be ambitious, or even ruthless, in reporting colleagues to the boss."

"Employers should be most wary of the fairly high number that wouldn't do anything unless the boss noticed the under-performance. It points to the fact that employers need to make sure they implement effective and on-going training programs for staff, and conduct regular 360 degree reviews to judge performance and spot issues early."

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