May 4, 2018

The Roundup: Studies on bad behavior and team mindfulness, plus an update on U.K. pay gap reporting

In this week’s Roundup, separate research studies find that employees follow the pack when it comes to misconduct, and being more mindful as a team helps reduce conflicts. Plus, what happens with U.K. firms that don’t report their pay gap information?

Bad employee behavior? It’s contagious

In Harvard Business Review, researchers Stephen Dimmock and William C. Gerken recently published their findings about how contagious bad behavior is.

They examined the effects of misconduct by financial advisors on co-workers, and found that financial advisors were 37% more likely to commit misconduct if they had met a new co-worker who had a history of misconduct. In short, employee behaviors are affected by the actions of their peers.

“Understanding why co-workers make similar choices about whether to commit misconduct can guide managers in preventing misconduct,” the authors write in HBR. “More generally, understanding why co-workers behave in similar ways has important implications for understanding how corporate culture arises and how managers can shape it.”

No surprise here, team mindfulness reduces conflict

A new study published in the Academy of Management Journal finds that interpersonal conflict decreases when teams are more mindful. “Team members were also less likely to transform their frustration with a particular task into a personal conflict with their colleagues,” says Science Daily.

Study co-author Mary Zellmer-Bruhn of the University of Minnesota added, “Team mindfulness can act as a safeguard against this and ensures that the task, rather than the person, remains the focus of reactions.”

While there’s been much written about the benefits of individual mindfulness in overall wellness, what exactly is team mindfulness? Science Daily says it’s a shared belief within a team of focusing on the present moment, and making sure that all team members interact without judgement.

The researchers say this can happen through mindfulness activities, like yoga or meditation, practiced as a team. Increasingly, progressive workplaces are prioritizing holistic wellness, including offering yoga, meditation and other group activities as regular parts of the workday.

For more on why you should consider offering more well-rounded wellness offerings, check out this blog, Does your workplace wellness program need a makeover?

Update on U.K. gender pay gap reporting

Bloomberg reports that the U.K. will begin investigating firms that failed to report their gender pay gap. That’s according to a letter from the government’s Equality and Human Rights Commission.

In April, all companies in the U.K. with more than 250 employees were required to report gender pay information (read more on the early results in this Roundup).

According to Bloomberg, around 1,500 companies didn’t report their pay gap information. Firms that missed the April 4 deadline were contacted, and more than 400 employers responded by “either reporting their data or contacting us to confirm they are not caught by the regulations,” the department’s Chief Executive Rebecca Hilsenrath told parliament, as noted by Bloomberg. An investigation is the next step in the process.

Bloomberg adds: “The probes will establish whether the firms have acted unlawfully and, if so, they will be issued with a notice to comply. Failing that, the EHRC will apply for a court order requiring them to report, and those found to be in violation will face unlimited and unspecified fines.”

Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Senior Manager, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

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