Are Your Co-workers a Bunch of Liars?

March 1, 2006 ( - Nineteen percent of workers recently surveyed by admitted they tell lies at the office at least once per week.

In its press release on the survey, said that 15% of workers reported they were caught in a lie at work.

Reasons for lying, according to the release, included:

  • To appease a customer – 26%,
  • To cover up a failed project, mistake or missed deadline – 13%,
  • To explain an unexcused absence or late arrival – 8%,
  • To protect another employee – 8%, or
  • To get another employee in trouble or look better in front of a supervisor – 5%.

Some common lies workers say they have told, included:

  • I don’t know what happened. – 20%,
  • I have another call to take, or I’ll call you right back. – 16%,
  • I’ve been out of town, or I’ve been out sick. – 10%,
  • I like your outfit, or You look great. – 8%, and
  • I didn’t get your email/voicemail/fax. – 8%.

Twenty-four percent of hiring managers surveyed say they have fired an employee for being dishonest. Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at, warns in the release, “Even if you are motivated by the best of intentions, being deceitful can seriously compromise your credibility with colleagues and negatively impact your career progress. The vast majority of hiring managers – 85% – say they are less likely to promote an employee who has lied to them or other members of the organization.”