Deal With Your Counterproductive Behavior Before It Gets Better Of You

Most people engage in counterproductive behavior at some point in their lives. This is behavior that goes against our goals and intentions, and it can be detrimental to our success both professionally and personally.

There are many different types of counterproductive behavior, and it can be difficult to identify them sometimes.

The consequences of engaging in counterproductive behavior can be severe, but there are ways to stop doing it. In this article, we will discuss what counterproductive behavior is, how to identify it, and the consequences of engaging in it. We will also provide tips on how to break the habit of counterproductive behavior and achieve success both professionally and personally.

What Is Counterproductive Behavior

Counterproductive behavior is any behavior that impedes an individual’s ability to achieve their goals. Counterproductive behaviors can take many forms, but some common examples include procrastination, perfectionism, and negative self-talk.

Counterproductive behavior is a hurdle

While it may seem counterintuitive, engaging in counterproductive behaviors is often motivated by a desire to succeed. For instance, someone may procrastinate on a project because they are afraid of failing.

Similarly, someone may strive for perfectionism in order to avoid making mistakes. However, ultimately, these behaviors end up hindering rather than helping.

If you find yourself engaging in counterproductive behaviors, it is important to try to identify the underlying cause. Once you understand what is driving the behavior, you can start to address it and make changes. With time and effort, it is possible to overcome counterproductive behaviors and achieve your goals.

How Can Counterproductive Behavior Hurt An Organization

Counterproductive behavior in organizations can take many forms, from employees not following company policies to sabotage and violence. Regardless of the specific form it takes, counterproductive behavior can have a number of negative effects on an organization.

For one, it can damage relationships between employees and lead to conflict and low morale.

This can in turn lead to reduced productivity and a higher turnover rate as employees become disillusioned with the company.

Counterproductive behavior can damage an organization’s reputation, making it difficult to attract new customers or partners. Counterproductive behavior can also put the safety of employees at risk, as was the case in the recent spate of workplace shootings.

Thus, it is clear that counterproductive behavior is something that should be avoided in all organizations. By promoting a positive work environment and culture of respect, companies can go a long way towards preventing counterproductive behavior from taking root.

4 Examples Of Counterproductive Behavior

In order to be successful in any field, it is important to understand and avoid counterproductive behavior. Here are a few examples of things that can damage your productivity and impact your work performance:

1. Productivity Deviance 

Productivity deviance is a counterproductive behaviour that occurs when employees engage in activities that are not directly related to their job tasks. This type of behaviour can include personal phone calls, surfing the internet, chatting with co-workers, and taking extended breaks.

While some amount of productivity deviance is to be expected in any workplace, excessive deviance can lead to frustration and lost productivity for the company as a whole. This can have a negative impact on productivity and can ultimately lead to lower profits for the company.

In some cases, it may also be a form of resistance to management practices that the employees believe are unfair. If left unchecked, productivity deviance can have a damaging effect on an organization.

Therefore, it is important for managers to be aware of the signs of this behavior and take steps to address it.

2. Property Deviance 

Property deviance is a form of counterproductive behaviour that occurs when employees damage, misuse, or steal company property. While the motivations for this behavior can vary, it often stems from feelings of frustration or dissatisfaction with working conditions.

In some cases, employees may view property deviance as a way of “getting back” at the company or expressing their displeasure with management. In other cases, it may simply be a matter of convenience or opportunity.

Regardless of the reasons, property deviance can have serious consequences for both the individual and the organization.

Not only does it result in financial loss and damage to company property, but it can also lead to decreased morale and productivity among other employees. In extreme cases, it may even lead to criminal charges.

As such, it is important for companies to be aware of the signs of property deviance and take steps to address the underlying issues before they escalate.

3. Engaging In Politics 

Workplace politics can be defined as counterproductive behavior within an organization that is aimed at furthering one’s own agenda at the expense of others. This can take many different forms, from backstabbing and sabotage to gossip and rumors.

Not only is this behavior counterproductive in terms of achieving organizational goals, but it can also lead to a toxic work environment where employees are constantly on guard and feeling anxious about their colleagues. In such an environment, it is very difficult to get any meaningful work done.

4. Hostility At Workplace 

There are many different types of counterproductive behavior. For example, someone might gossip about a co-worker in an attempt to make them look bad. Or, they might bully someone in an effort to get them to do what they want.

In either case, the individual is engaging in behavior that is likely to backfire. Not only does it damage relationships and create a hostile workplace, but it can also lead to legal repercussions.

As such, it is important to be aware of the potential consequences of engaging in counterproductive behavior before taking any action.

16 Common Causes That Can Lead Counterproductive Behavior

There are many reasons why people may engage in counterproductive behavior in the workplace. Some of the most common causes include:

1. Job Burnout 

When you’re feeling burned out at work, it can be tough to stay motivated and productive. In fact, job burnout is one of the leading causes of counterproductive behaviour on the job.

That’s because when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it’s hard to find the energy to care about your work. As a result, you may start making mistakes, missing deadlines, and generally slacking off.

Not only is this bad for your career, but it can also make your coworkers resentful and further contribute to a toxic work environment.

2. Lack of Motivation 

Counterproductive behavior can be caused by a number of things, but one of the most common is a lack of motivation.

When we’re not motivated, it’s easy to half-heartedly carry out tasks or put in minimal effort. This can lead to poor results, which can then lead to even less motivation. It’s a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break out of.

3. Poor Communication 

Counterproductive behavior can often be traced back to some form of communication breakdown. Whether it’s a misunderstanding between two colleagues or a lack of clarity around objectives, poor communication is often at the root of counterproductive behavior.

There are a few key ways in which communication can break down, leading to counterproductive behavior:

  • When people don’t feel heard or valued, they’re much less likely to be engaged in their work. This can lead to them feeling resentful and undervalued, which can in turn lead to them engaging in counterproductive behaviors such as sabotaging projects or deliberately withholding information.
  • Miscommunication (or simply not communicating) can also lead to people feeling frustrated and confused, which can again lead to them engaging in counterproductive behaviors. For example, if someone isn’t clear on what their objectives are, they may well end up working on the wrong things or not putting in the effort required because they don’t see the point.
  • A final way in which communication can break down is when there is a power imbalance between those involved. If someone feels like they’re not being listened to or that their opinion doesn’t matter, they’re much more likely to engage in counterproductive behavior as a way of protesting or trying to get noticed. This is often seen in cases where there is a hierarchical power dynamic, such as between a manager and their team.

Effective communication is essential for preventing counterproductive behavior. By ensuring that everyone feels heard and valued, that misunderstandings are avoided and that there is a shared understanding of objectives, it’s much easier to create an environment where everyone is motivated and engaged in their work.

4. Stress 

Stress is a major cause of counterproductive behavior. When we feel under pressure at work or home, our stress levels rise and this can lead to us behaving in ways that are counterproductive. For example, we may become impatient and snap at colleagues or loved ones, or we may procrastinate and avoid doing the things that we need to do.

When you don't work effectively it can make to stressed

Stress can also cause us to make mistakes and behave in risky ways. In short, stress can lead to a whole range of counterproductive behaviors that can have a negative impact on our lives.

If we can learn to manage our stress levels, we can help to prevent these behaviors from occurring.

5. Low Morale

While it’s not always the primary cause, low morale can absolutely be a contributing factor to counterproductive behaviour. When people are down in the dumps, they’re more likely to act out in ways that harm themselves or their company – whether it’s calling in sick when they’re not actually sick, being less productive while they’re on the clock, or gossiping about their co-workers.

But either way, it’s important to be aware of the links between these two things. After all, a happy workplace is a productive workplace. And that benefits everyone.

6. Boredom 

We’ve all been there before. You’re stuck in a meeting that’s going nowhere, or you’re stuck in traffic and you’re already late for your appointment. You feel restless and antsy, and all you can think about is how much better you could be spending your time.

That’s boredom.

And according to some researchers, boredom is one of the leading causes of counterproductive behavior. Boredom has been linked to everything from absenteeism and tardiness to substance abuse and workplace accidents.

That’s because when we’re bored, we’re more likely to take risks in an attempt to relieve our boredom. We might engage in risky behaviors like texting while driving, or we might make careless errors at work. 

7. Ungrateful Employees 

It’s no secret that ungrateful employees can be a major source of counterproductive behavior in the workplace. But what exactly is it about an ungrateful attitude that leads to problems?

For one thing, ungrateful employees tend to be less engaged with their work. They’re less likely to care about doing a good job or meeting deadlines, and as a result, their work suffers. This in turn can have a negative impact on team morale and performance.

Ungrateful employees often have a sense of entitlement.

They expect to be given special treatment or recognition, and when they don’t get it, they can become disgruntled. This feeling of entitlement can lead to conflict with co-workers and management, and can ultimately torpedo an employee’s career.

8. Lack Of Trust Or Respect Among Coworkers 

Counterproductive behavior can often be traced back to a lack of trust or respect among coworkers. When people don’t feel like they can rely on each other or feel like their opinions are valued, it can lead to all sorts of problems.

For example, someone might withhold vital information because they don’t think it will be used effectively, or they might go “rogue” and do their own thing instead of following company policy.

In extreme cases, it can even lead to sabotage.

All of this ultimately hurts the company and its bottom line, so it’s important to create an environment where everyone feels like they have a voice and that their contributions are valued.

9. Unclear Job Expectations Or Role Ambiguity

Unclear job expectations or role ambiguity can be a cause of counterproductive behavior for employees. When employees are unsure of what is expected of them, they may become stressed or frustrated.

Which can lead to them behaving in a way that is counterproductive to the company or organization.

Counterproductive behaviors can include such things as absenteeism, lateness, sabotage, theft, and violence. While unclear job expectations or role ambiguity may not be the only cause of these behaviors, it can certainly be a contributing factor. 

10. Unrealistic Deadlines Or Time Pressure

Unreasonable deadlines and time pressure can often lead to counterproductive behavior. This can manifest in a number of ways, such as employees working fewer hours, or taking more sick days. In some cases, it can even lead to employees leaving the company altogether.

Counterproductive behavior can result from unrealistic deadlines

There are a number of reasons why this occurs. Firstly, when people feel like they’re constantly under pressure, it can lead to them feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This can impact their concentration and motivation levels, making it difficult for them to get their work done.

Secondly, unrealistic deadlines can often result in employees cutting corners and rushing their work, which can lead to mistakes being made.

And finally, when employees are constantly facing deadline pressure, they may start to feel like their work is never-ending and that they’ll never be able to catch up, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair.

11. Lack Of Team Spirit Or Cohesiveness

It’s no secret that a lack of team spirit can lead to counterproductive behavior. When teammates don’t feel bonded or connected, it can lead to disruptions both on and off the field. For example, players may be less likely to trust and support one another, leading to communication breakdowns.

Additionally, individual players may be more likely to act out or engage in disruptive behavior if they don’t feel part of the team. Ultimately, a lack of team spirit can have a negative impact on both individual players and the team as a whole.

12. Micromanagement Or Excessive Control

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re constantly being watched over and controlled. It can make you feel like you’re not trusted to do your job, or that your boss doesn’t have faith in your abilities.

Unfortunately, this feeling of being micromanaged is all too common in the workplace. And it can have some pretty counterproductive consequences.

Excessive control can stifle creativity and innovation, as employees feel they have to stick to the status quo instead of thinking outside the box.

It can also breed resentment, as employees feel that their work is never good enough or that their managers don’t trust them to do their jobs properly. In extreme cases, it can even lead to workplace sabotage, as disgruntled employees take revenge on their micromanaging bosses.

13. Limited Opportunities For Growth Or Advancement

Counterproductive behavior can be caused by a number of different factors, but one of the most common is limited opportunities for growth or advancement. When people feel stuck in a job with no chance of moving up, they may become frustrated and start behaving in ways that sabotage their own success.

This can include everything from calling in sick often to loafing on the job to outright sabotage.

In some cases, this behavior may even lead to criminal activity. Clearly, limited opportunities for growth or advancement can have a serious impact on employee morale and well-being, and can ultimately lead to counterproductive behavior.

14. Role Conflict

Role conflict happens when someone has competing demands placed on them by different people or groups. For example, you might be expected to act a certain way at home that conflicts with the way you’re supposed to act at work.

This can be really confusing and stressful, and can lead to counterproductive behaviour.

There are a few different types of role conflict:

  • Horizontal conflict happens when someone has conflicting demands from people at the same level in an organization, like two managers who have different expectations.
  • Vertical conflict happens when someone has conflicting demands from people at different levels in an organization, like a boss and a subordinate.
  • Intragroup conflict happens when there are conflicting demands within a group, like two team members who have different ideas about how to do a project.
  • Intergroup conflict happens when there are conflicting demands between groups, like two departments who are vying for the same resources.

Role conflict can lead to counterproductive behavior because it creates stress and confusion. When people feel stressed, they’re more likely to lash out or make mistakes. And when they’re confused about what’s expected of them, they may not perform up to their potential. 

15. Organizational Change

Organizational change can often be a cause of counterproductive behavior. When people are faced with change, they can often feel threatened or uncertain, and this can lead to them behaving in ways that are counterproductive to the organization’s goals.

For example, they may resist or oppose the change, or try to sabotage it. They may also withdraw from the organization, or become less productive. In some cases, people may become aggressive or violent.

16. Stressful Work Environment

A stressful work environment can lead to counterproductive behavior for a number of reasons. First, when employees feel stressed, they may be more likely to take shortcuts or engage in risky behavior in order to complete their work more quickly.

Second, stress can lead to cognitive tunneling, which means that employees become so focused on completing their tasks that they are less likely to notice potential hazards. Finally, stress can also impact employee morale, leading to absenteeism and turnover.

Try not to focus your attention on a single task

In sum, a stressful work environment can have a number of negative consequences for both individual workers and the organization as a whole. 

Personal Factors That Can Cause Counterproductive Behvaior 

There are many personal factors that can lead to counterproductive behavior in the workplace. Some of these include: 

1. Low Self-Esteem 

People with low self-esteem tend to view themselves as incompetent and unworthy, which can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. This can cause them to act in ways that are inconsistent with their goals and values, such as engaging in counterproductive behavior.

Low self-esteem can also lead to anxiety and depression, which can also contribute to counterproductive behavior.

2. Insecurity 

People who feel insecure often doubt their abilities and feel that they need to prove themselves in order to be accepted by others. This can lead to competition and destructive behaviors in the workplace.

3. Poor Job Satisfaction 

If someone is unhappy with their job, they may start to view their work as pointless or frustrating. This can lead to procrastination, absenteeism, and even sabotage. People who are satisfied with their jobs are less likely to engage in counterproductive behavior.

4. Lack Of Recognition 

People who feel that they are not being recognized or appreciated may start to feel unvalued and ignored. This can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration, which can lead to counterproductive behavior.

5. Poor Work Conditions 

If someone is working in an environment that is unpleasant or chaotic, it can be difficult for them to focus on their work. This can lead to problems such as poor productivity and disruptive behavior.

Unpleasant work conditions can also be a source of stress, which can lead to problems such as burnout and counterproductive behavior.

6. Personal Conflicts 

When people have disagreements or arguments with co-workers, it can often lead to tension and hostility in the workplace. This type of atmosphere can be conducive to counterproductive behavior.

7. Life Stressors 

Life stressors such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or financial troubles can cause people a great deal of emotional distress. This distress can often manifest itself in the form of counterproductive behavior at work.

8. Depression Or Anxiety 

Depression and anxiety are both mental health conditions that often lead to negative thoughts and feelings about oneself and the world around them. This can often result in problematic behaviors such as avoidance or social withdrawal, procrastination, and even self-harm behaviors.

9. Boredom Or Monotony 

If someone is doing the same thing day after day without any variation or challenge, it can often lead to boredom. Boredom often leads people to seek out stimulation elsewhere, which often results in counterproductive behavior.

Monotony is also a source of boredom, but it is usually accompanied by fatigue instead of excitement.

Both boredom and monotony are common reasons for job dissatisfaction, which increases the risk for counterproductive behavior. 

10. Trauma Or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  PTSD

People who have PTSD may start avoiding places or things that remind them of the traumatic event, become easily irritated, or experience flashbacks. These symptoms often make it difficult for people with PTSD to function normally in everyday life, including at work. People with PTSD are also more likely than others to engage in counterproductive behaviors.

11. Personality Disorders

Personality disorders can be a major contributor to counterproductive work behavior. Individuals with personality disorders often have difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviors, which can lead to disruptive and destructive behaviors in the workplace.

Some of the most common personality disorders that can lead to counterproductive behavior include Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Antisocial Personality Disorder.

12. Genetic Predisposition

Individuals who have a family history of mental illness or addiction are more likely to struggle with these issues themselves. This can often lead to problems in the workplace, such as erratic or aggressive behavior, and difficulty managing stress.

13. Learned Helplessness

When individuals feel like they are unable to control their environment or their outcomes, they may begin to feel hopeless and helpless. This can lead to feelings of apathy and lethargy, as well as disruptive or destructive behaviors in the workplace.

Counterproductive Leadership Behaviors And Its Negative Effects

Counterproductive leadership behaviors are those that conflict with the goals or objectives of the organization or team. They can take many forms, from micromanaging to creating a hostile work environment.

Counterproductive behaviors often stem from a lack of trust or respect for others.

Leaders who exhibit these behaviors may be trying to exert control over their subordinates, or they may simply be unaware of how their actions are negatively impacting those around them. Either way, counterproductive leadership behaviors can have a serious negative impact on morale, productivity, and even company profits.

Here are a few examples of counterproductive leadership behaviors:

  • Micromanaging: Leaders who micromanage their subordinates often do so out of a lack of trust. They may feel that they need to be intimately involved in every aspect of their subordinates’ work in order to ensure that it is being done properly. However, this type of behavior typically backfires, as it breeds frustration and resentment among employees.
  • Creating a hostile work environment: A hostile work environment is one in which employees feel belittled, disrespected, or otherwise mistreated. This type of environment can lead to high levels of stress and turnover, as well as decreased productivity and creativity.
  • Failing to delegate: Leaders who try to do everything themselves often end up spread too thin. As a result, important tasks may fall by the wayside, and subordinates may feel that their skills and knowledge are not being utilized properly.
  • Being indecisive: Dithering over decisions and taking too long to make decisions.
  • Favoritism: Playing favorites with certain team members and showing favoritism.
  • Bad communication: Not communicating effectively with team members and not keeping them in the loop.
Counterproductive leadership behavior is very harmful

While there are many other counterproductive leadership behaviors, these three are some of the most common and damaging. If you find yourself exhibiting any of these behaviors, it’s important to make a conscious effort to change your approach. Doing so will benefit both you and your team in the long run.

10 Types Of Counterproductive Behavior At Work

There are many different types of counterproductive behavior that can occur in the workplace. Here are 10 of the most common counterproductive behaviors:

  1. Lateness – Arriving late to work can disrupt the workflow and cause tension among co-workers. It can also lead to missed deadlines and decreased productivity.
  2. Absenteeism – Missing work without prior notice can leave coworkers scrambling to cover for your shift, and can lead to negative consequences for your job performance.
  3. Coming in Late or Leaving Early – If you’re frequently coming in late or leaving early, it can send the message that you don’t take your job seriously or that you’re not committed to your team’s success. It can also disrupt the workday for everyone else on the team.
  4. Talking on the Phone or Texting during Work Hours – Spending time on personal phone calls or texting instead of working can result in lost productivity and decreased morale among co-workers.
  5. Poor Work Performance – Failing to meet deadlines, producing low-quality work, or making too many mistakes can reflect poorly on you and damage your reputation among co-workers.
  6. Loafing on the Job – Slacking off when you’re supposed to be working can lead to missed opportunities, lower productivity, and tension among co-workers.
  7. Disruptive Behavior – Causing a disturbance in the workplace by talking loudly, being disruptive, or engaging in inappropriate behavior can interfere with work and irritate your co-workers.
  8. Arguing with Co-workers – Fighting with co-workers can lead to tension and hostility in the workplace, and can distract from the task at hand.
  9. Slacking off when Working with Others – Not putting forth your best effort when working with others can lead to missed opportunities and lower productivity for everyone involved
  10. Sabotage – Intentionally undermining another employee’s work or damaging company property can be detrimental to both individual workers and the organization as a whole

6 Negative Consequences Of Counterproductive Behavior

In the workplace, counterproductive behavior can have serious consequences. It can lead to decreased productivity, lower morale, and even lawsuits. In some cases, it can even put people’s safety at risk. Here are some of the common causes of counterproductive behavior:

1. Lost Productivity:

Counterproductive behavior can lead to a loss in productivity as employees are less likely to be focused on their work. This can impact the company’s bottom line as it results in less output from each employee.

2. Increased Stress Levels:

When employees are engaged in counterproductive behavior, it often leads to an increase in stress levels. This can cause employees to become overwhelmed and lead to fatigue, which can further impact productivity.

3. Poor Work Quality:

Engaging in counterproductive behavior can also lead to a decline in the quality of work. This is because employees are less likely to be focused and may make more mistakes. The quality of work may also suffer when employees are stressed out and overwhelmed.

4. Higher Turnover Rates:

If the stressful environment caused by counterproductive behavior is not addressed, it can lead to higher turnover rates. Employees who are constantly stressed out are more likely to leave their job, which costs the company time and money in terms of recruitment and training new employees.

5. Decreased Morale:

When employees engage in counterproductive behavior, it often leads to a decline in morale. This is because employees may feel that their work is not valued or that they are not being productive. Low morale can also lead to tension among coworkers and a hostile work environment.

6. Mistrust Among Coworkers:

When there is a lot of counterproductive behavior going on, it can lead to a breakdown in trust among coworkers. This is because employees may start to doubt each other’s motives and whether they are actually working towards the same goal.

Counterproductive Behavior Can Lead To Burnout

Counterproductive behavior can lead to burnout for a number of reasons. First, it can be counterproductive to try to do too much at once. When we try to take on too many tasks, we end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

Overestimating yourself can cause a lot of stress

This can lead us to feel like we’re not doing anything right, which can in turn lead to burnout. Second, counterproductive behavior can also be caused by perfectionism.

When we strive for perfection, we set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration.

We may also start to feel like we’re not good enough, which can again lead to burnout. Finally, counterproductive behavior can be the result of negative self-talk. If we’re constantly telling ourselves that we’re not good enough or that we’ll never succeed, it’s only natural that we’ll start to believe it.

And when we believe it, it becomes harder and harder to motivate ourselves to keep going. So, if you’re struggling with burnout, it might be worth taking a step back and looking at your behaviors to see if they might be counterproductive.

Just remember, you don’t have to be perfect – you just have to be willing to try. 

Importance Of Identifying Counterproductive Behavior 

Counterproductive behavior can be defined as any behavior that goes against the goals that you are trying to achieve. In other words, counterproductive behaviors are those behaviors that get in the way of you achieving your goals.

Identifying counterproductive behaviors is important because it can help you to make changes to your behavior in order to achieve your goals.

The first step to addressing counterproductive behavior is to identify the behaviors that are holding you back. Once you have identified the counterproductive behaviors, you can then start to work on making changes to your behavior.

This may involve seeking professional help, changing your environment or the people you associate with, or making small changes to your daily routine. Whatever approach you take, the key is to keep working towards your goals and not let counterproductive behaviors get in the way. Here are some ways you can identify counterproductive behavior:

  1. Inability to complete tasks: This could be due to a lack of focus, not enough time allocated to the task, or poor time management skills.
  2. Making careless mistakes: This could be due to lack of attention to detail, poor quality work, or rushing through tasks.
  3. Frequent absences: This could be due to a lack of interest in the job, apathy towards work, or attendance issues.
  4. Poor attitude: This could be exhibited through negative body language, disruptive behavior, or openly complaining about the job or co-workers.
  5. Excessive socializing: This could be due to a lack of focus on work, chatting instead of working, or taking too long for breaks/lunch.

Tips For Preventing Counterproductive Behavior 

Counterproductive behaviour is behaviour that goes against what an organisation is trying to achieve. It can have a negative impact on productivity, morale and motivation levels. There are a few things that you can do to try and prevent or reduce counterproductive behaviour:

  • Encourage open communication: Make sure your employees feel comfortable coming to you with concerns or problems. When someone does exhibit counterproductive behaviour, take the time to talk to them about it privately and try to uncover the root cause of the issue.
  • Promote a positive culture: A positive workplace environment is one where employees feel valued and respected. Positive reinforcement goes a long way towards reducing counterproductive behaviour. Focus on catching people doing things right, and make sure everyone knows when someone goes above and beyond.
  • Set clear expectations: Employees are more likely to meet your expectations if they know what they are. Be clear about what you expect in terms of punctuality, productivity, dress code, etc. Let your team know that you are available to answer any questions they may have.
  • Be consistent: Inconsistent application of rules can breed resentment and lead to increased counterproductive behaviour. If someone breaks a rule, make sure they receive the same consequences as everyone else would in that situation. This will help maintain a sense of fairness in the workplace.


Counterproductive behaviour can have a negative impact on both the individual and the team. It can lead to decreased productivity, decreased morale, and conflict within the team. In order to avoid counterproductive behaviour, it is important to be aware of the potential triggers and to manage them effectively.

With a little effort, counterproductive behaviour can be prevented, and everyone can benefit from a more positive and productive work environment.


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Sypniewska, B. (2020). Counterproductive Work Behavior and Organizational Citizenship Behavior. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 16(4), 321–328.

Carpenter, N. C., Whitman, D. S., & Amrhein, R. (2020). Unit-Level Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB): A Conceptual Review and Quantitative Summary. Journal of Management, 47(6), 1498–1527.

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