DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (FNS) -- The vast majority of employees engage in some type of "counterproductive" workplace behavior, said Charles Miller, vice president of loss prevention services at the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
In a survey conducted by FMI, a startling "90% of supermarket employees admitted to some type of counterproductive workplace behavior." The counterproductive behaviors included theft of cash, merchandise or coupons, damaging company property or otherwise behaving inappropriately at work.
Not surprisingly, the study revealed that employees intending to quit their jobs were also the most likely to commit theft or other damaging behavior.
"We found that 44% of the employees admitted to theft of cash or merchandise, and those who intended to quit their jobs reported over seven times more theft [in terms of dollar value] than did those who expected to remain at their jobs," Miller said.
Employees expecting to leave their jobs also were more likely to damage company property by horseplay or come to work seemingly hung-over from drugs, Miller said.
The study also found that employees were more likely to admit to counterproductive behavior on the job if they believed that the company has treated them or others unfairly, if co-workers viewed employee theft as acceptable, if the average employee stole significant amounts of cash and merchandise, or if they would not be caught if they engaged in criminal behavior. "The most frequently occurring types of supermarket employee deviance appear to be taking supplies for personal use, coming to work hung-over from alcohol, eating food without paying for it, arguing, doing slow or sloppy work on purpose, tardiness and faking illness and calling in sick," Miller said.
· Average value of cash/merchandise recovered in each instance of employee theft discovered: $127.66.
· Employee theft by location: cashier station, 41.2%; shopping sections of the store, 30.4%; backroom, 11.8%; courtesy booth, 10.8%, and other, 5.8%.
Miller made his remarks based on a survey of 45 companies operating 7,081 supermarkets. The survey, an anonymous questionnaire, was conducted by FMI and London House,a Macmillan/ McGraw-Hill publication. It was released in June of last year.