OFFICE BANDITS

Survey: More Than One-Quarter of Employees Have Had Ideas Stolen at Work

MENLO PARK, CA -- According to a recent survey, there’s a common type of workplace theft -- and it has nothing to do with missing office supplies. More than one in four (29 percent) employees interviewed said that a coworker has taken credit for their idea. Those who steal the limelight from their more deserving colleagues may get away with it, too: More than half (51 percent) of those who have had their ideas nabbed by coworkers revealed they did nothing in response.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 444 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment.

Workers were asked, “Has a coworker ever taken credit for your idea?” Their responses: 

 Yes    29%
 No    68%
 Don't know/no answer      3%
   100%


Workers also were asked, “What did you do in response?” Their responses*: 

 Speak up to let others know it was your idea  26%
 Tell your manager  13%
 Confront the person who stole your idea  13%
 Nothing  51%
 Don't know/no answer    4%

*Multiple responses allowed

“Today’s workplace is more competitive than ever and, unfortunately, there are people who will go to great lengths to make themselves look good or get promoted, including taking credit for someone else’s ideas,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Being proactive in sharing your vision with your manager and colleagues early on can help ensure others know the concept originated with you.”

Hosking added that although getting credit is important, giving it is just as beneficial. “Employees and supervisors should acknowledge those who help to move an idea forward -- most business successes are the result of collaboration, not the efforts of a single individual.”

OfficeTeam offers the following tips for getting the credit you deserve:

  • Report up. Use status updates to remind your manager of your ideas and the progress being made to implement them.
  • Look for patterns. If a minor contribution is occasionally overlooked, you may decide to let it go. However, if other people routinely get credit for your ideas, it’s a sign that you need to be more assertive.
  • Don’t act in haste. When someone receives credit for your idea, try to get to the bottom of the situation. It could be a misunderstanding. Be sure to give your colleague the opportunity to present his or her side of the story to you.
  • Set the record straight. If you are credited with a coworker’s idea, be sure to swiftly correct the situation. Your colleague will appreciate it.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam provides businesses with the temporary administrative professionals they need to maximize productivity, achieve cost efficiency and support existing staff. The company has more than 325 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.


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