March 31, 2014
Human resources people are obstructive and most likely to reject reasonable requests in the workplace, finds a new poll. Almost 18 per cent of individuals polled by conference call provider Powwownow voted the HR department as the most difficult to work with; almost double that of Finance/Accounting, the next most maligned department.Why some members of staff are so uncooperative was interpreted by respondents as due to illusions of grandeur (68%), attempts to retain power and hold others back (67%) and confusion/lack of training/lack of confidence (40%). Unhelpfulness does not go unpunished it seems as the majority of respondents (53%) thought that unproductive or obstructive employees are more prone to bullying in the workplace. Those who encounter such unhelpfulness admitted to being driven to consider screaming out of sheer frustration (40%) or even seek new employment (36%) rather than speaking with their superior (30%) about an obstructive colleague.
The gender most likely to be uncooperative and unprepared to help in a British workplace – displaying a ‘can’t do attitude’ – is female, according to 54 per cent of those polled; with 46 per cent citing a man as the biggest ‘can’t’ where they work.
However, more encouragingly, the majority of respondents (38%) felt that only ten per cent of their workforce is unsupportive and unhelpful and only 14 respondents overall felt they were in a ‘them vs. the world’ scenario at work, saying that 100 per cent of their colleagues offered them no help or encouragement.
Of those who reported having to deal with an obstructive or unhelpful colleague – over a third would choose to scream of shout silently/in private out of sheer frustration (40%) and nearly a quarter (22%) would consider working from home to avoid them. Other responses include:
- Changing where they’ve sat to be further away from the person in question (39%)
- Seek new employment (36%)
- Approach their superior in an attempt to ‘cut them out’ of processes and protocol (30%)
- Change profession/career path entirely (22%)
- Compete with that person professionally (22%)
- Call in sick in a bid to avoid a meeting with that person (20%)
- Seek advice or buy tools/instructional material in a bid to ‘bust stress’ (18%)
- Consider counselling (15%)
- Relocate/move away (12%)
The data also shows the differing responses taken by people depending on their age, with more mature respondents, (41%), choosing to scream in private, to cope; while those respondents aged 18 – 24 admitted to taking a much more direct and obvious approach with a majority (40%) considering finding a new workspace further away from an obstructive colleague.
Click on the parallax to view a showcase of aspects of the study, which was carried out amongst 2,000 UK residents in February.