Examples of counterproductive work behavior

What is counterproductive work behavior?

Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) is defined as behavior by an employee that goes against the legitimate interests of the organization they work for. This can include anything from theft and truancy to sabotage and aggression. CWB is a major problem for employers, as it can lead to decreased productivity, lower morale, and increased stress levels among employees.

There are many different types of CWB, but some of the most common include:

While there are many different reasons why an employee may engage in CWB, some of the most common include:
-Unhappy with their job or working conditions
-Revenge against a boss or co-worker
-Frustration with company policies
-Stress from personal problems

Examples of counterproductive work behavior

There are many examples of counterproductive work behavior. One example is when an employee is persistently late for work. This not only shows a lack of respect for the company, but it also makes it difficult for the team to rely on that person. Another example of counterproductive work behavior is when an employee is constantly arguing with co-workers or management. This creates an tense and unproductive work environment.


Sabotage is the conscious or subconscious destruction of another person’s ability to complete a task.

In the workplace, an employee might engage in sabotage to get back at a boss or coworker they don’t like. They might do this by purposely not completing a task, or by completing it in a way that is sure to fail.

For example, imagine that an employee was passed over for a promotion. In response, they might start coming in late and leaving early, or they might do just enough work to get by and nothing more. This would be considered sabotaging their own job performance in order to make themselves look bad and their boss look foolish for promoting someone who couldn’t hack it.

Alternatively, an employee who is upset with a coworker might purposefully leave them out of important meetings or conversations, or they might withhold important information that the coworker needs in order to do their job. This would be an example of sabotaging someone else’s work in order to make them look bad and cause them problems.

Sabotage is generally considered to be a very passive-aggressive form of aggression, as it can be hard to prove that it was deliberate sabotage rather than just a mistake or oversight. However, if it is done repeatedly and/or causes serious problems, it can be grounds for disciplinary action or even termination from employment.

Withholding information or resources

Withholding information or resources from colleagues can be a serious problem in the workplace. It can lead to decreased productivity and teamwork, and can even create an environment of mistrust.

There are many reasons why someone might withhold information or resources from others. In some cases, it may be a power play – the person may feel that they have something that others need, and that by withholding it they can gain an advantage. In other cases, it may be due to resentment or jealousy – the person may feel that their colleagues are getting something that they deserve. Whatever the reason, withhold information or resources is generally counterproductive and should be avoided.

If you find yourself withholding information or resources from others, try to take a step back and understand why you’re doing it. Is there a more productive way to achieve your goals? If not, try to find a way to let go of your feelings of resentment or jealousy, and focus on being part of a team.

Gossiping or spreading rumors

Gossiping or spreading rumors about co-workers, the company, or the boss can create an environment of mistrust and fear. It can also lead to workplace bullying. If you’re the one doing the gossiping, you may not be aware of how harmful your words can be. If you’re on the receiving end of gossip, it can be hurtful and distracting. Either way, it’s best to avoid getting involved in gossip at work.

Making others look bad

A common — and very destructive — form of counterproductive work behavior is trying to make others look bad. Perhaps you feel like you’re in competition with a colleague and the only way to “win” is to make sure they look bad in comparison to you. Or maybe you’re just feeling insecure in your job and belittling others makes you feel better about yourself.

Whatever the reason, putting other people down is never a good idea. Not only is it rude and unprofessional, it also creates an animosity that can quickly spiral out of control. If you find yourself engaging in this behavior, try to take a step back and understand why you’re doing it. Is there something going on in your personal life that’s affecting your work? Are you feeling overwhelmed or stressed out? Once you identify the root cause, you can start to find healthier ways to cope.

Being excessively critical

Excessive criticism can be counterproductive in the workplace for a number of reasons. First, it can be demoralizing for employees who are constantly being told that they are not doing something right. Second, it can foster an environment of fear and mistrust, where employees are afraid to take risks or innovate for fear of being criticized. Finally, Excessive criticism can also lead to a deterioration of team morale and productivity.

How to deal with counterproductive work behavior

Talk to the person

The best way to deal with counterproductive work behavior is to talk to the person who is exhibiting the behavior. It is important to have a conversation in order to understand why the person is behaving in that way, and to find a solution that works for both parties. If the behavior is truly counterproductive and cannot be resolved, then it may be necessary to take disciplinary action.

Set clear expectations

In order to get employees back on track, it is important for managers to set clear expectations from the outset. This means being specific about what is expected in terms of both the quality and quantity of work. It also means setting a deadline for when the work should be completed. By being clear about what is expected, you will help employees avoid getting off track in the first place.

If an employee does get off track, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible. The longer you wait to address the issue, the harder it will be to get the employee back on track. When you do address the issue, be sure to do so in a respectful and professional manner. Avoid getting into a personal argument with the employee or putting them on the defensive. Instead, focus on finding a solution that will work for both of you.

document the behavior

It is important to be aware that how you document the behavior will be just as important as what you document. You will want to collect as much information as possible about each incident. This will include who, what, when, where, and why. It is important to be as specific as possible so that you can prevent future issues and so that your documentation will stand up if the situation escalates and you need to take disciplinary action or even terminate the employee.

Seek help from HR

If you’re struggling to deal with a coworker’s counterproductive work behavior on your own, it’s time to seek help from your HR department. Counterproductive work behavior can include any actions that are intended to harm the company, another coworker, or yourself. These actions can also interfere with your ability to do your job or complete assigned tasks.

Some common examples of counterproductive work behavior include:
-Stealing work supplies from the office
-Destroying company property
-Sabotaging another coworker’s project
-Calling in sick when you’re not actually sick
-Frequent absences from work
-Arriving late to work or leaving early

If you witness someone engaging in any of these behaviors, it’s important to report it to HR right away. Your HR department will be able to investigate the situation and take appropriate disciplinary action, if necessary.

Be consistent

If you’re inconsistent with how you handle counterproductive work behavior, you’re more likely to create an environment where that behavior is tolerated. Your team will quickly learn that some people are held to a different standard, which can breed resentment and mistrust.

Be consistent in the way you address counterproductive work behavior, whether it’s calling people out in the moment or sitting down for a one-on-one conversation later. By being clear about your expectations and consistent in your follow-through, you can help prevent that behavior from happening in the first place.

How to prevent counterproductive work behavior

counterproductive work behavior is any behavior that interferes with an organization’s ability to meet its goals. This can include tardiness, absenteeism, sabotage, chronic lateness, and more. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent counterproductive work behavior. In this article, we’ll go over four tips to help you prevent counterproductive work behavior.

Lead by example

It’s hard to prevent counterproductive work behavior when you yourself are guilty of it. So, the first step is to lead by example. If you want your employees to be punctual, then you need to be punctual. If you want them to dress professionally, then you need to dress professionally. You get the idea. Employees will often take their cues from their boss, so it’s important that you set the right tone.

In addition to leading by example, you also need to be clear about your expectations. Employees can’t read your mind, so it’s important that you communicate what you expect from them in terms of behavior and performance. This means being specific about what constitutes as acceptable behavior and what doesn’t. For example, if you expect employees to arrive at work on time, then explain what “on time” means. Is it 8:00am sharp? 8:15am? 8:30am? Employees will appreciate the clarity and it will help prevent misunderstandings down the road.

Finally, make sure that you follow up with employees when they do display counterproductive behavior. This could mean anything from a verbal warning to an official written warning (depending on the severity of the offense). The key is to nip the behavior in the bud before it becomes a bigger problem

Promote a positive work environment

A positive work environment is built on trust, respect, and collaboration. It’s a place where people feel like they can do their best work, and where they feel supported by their colleagues.

There are a few key things you can do to promote a positive work environment:

-Encourage open communication: Make sure everyone knows they can come to you with any concerns or ideas. Encourage people to speak up if they see something that isn’t working well.

-Create opportunities for social interaction: Plan regular team-building activities or social events. This will help build bonds between colleagues and make everyone feel more comfortable working together.

-Encourage constructive feedback: Make sure your team members feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback. Encourage them to give feedback that is specific, actionable, and objective.

Encourage open communication

Organizations need to encourage open communication between employees and managers in order to prevent counterproductive work behavior. When employees feel like they can openly discuss issues with their managers, they are more likely to trust the organization and feel like they are part of a team. Additionally, employees who feel like their voices are heard are more likely to be engaged in their work and committed to the organization.

Be clear about expectations

It is important that employees are clear about what is expected of them in terms of their work behavior. If they are unclear, they may end up engaging in counterproductive work behavior.

There are a few things you can do to make sure that employees are clear about your expectations:

-Make sure that your expectations are realistic and attainable.
-Communicate your expectations clearly and concisely.
-Be available to answer any questions that employees may have about your expectations.
-Make sure that employees understand the consequences of engaging in counterproductive work behavior.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.