There’s always going to be some conflict in the workplace, but the real trouble can happenwhen employees take their anger a step further.

A new study by insuranceQuotes, which surveyed over 1,000 U.S. workers, found that 44%of employees admitted to exacting revenge on a co-worker.

These acts of revenge range from small to severe, and were committed by employeesfrom all job levels — but some more than others. Those who were most likely to seekrevenge were senior managers, while the group least likely to retaliate was entry levelemployees.

Employees’ reasons for revenge varied quite a bit, with the top responses being someone“made them look bad” (51%) and a co-worker was “rude or disrespectful” (50%).

Here are some of the other popular reasons employees got revenge (multiple responseswere allowed):

abuse of power or position (35%)

sabotaged their work (23%)

spread unflattering rumors (20%)

took credit for their ideas (20%)

ate their lunch (5%), and

planned to fire them (3%).


And here are the top 10 ways employees have gotten revenge on their co-workers:

purposely reduced the quality or quantity of their work

spread an unflattering rumor about a co-worker

quit their job in a strange way

hid a co-worker’s possessions

got a co-worker fired

sabotaged a colleague’s work

tampered with someone’s computer

ate a co-worker’s lunch

stole private information from someone’s computer, and

deleted a co-worker’s files.


Some of these acts of retaliation were more severe than others, but oftentimes, thewronged employees had an eye-for-an-eye attitude by doing the same thing a co-workerdid to them.

While managers can’t prevent all acts of retaliation, they can keep a close eye on theiremployees and how they interact with each other. Letting employees know that badbehavior will be dealt with could stop people from taking matters into their own hands.

Building a company culture where employees trust one and another and feel comfortablereporting unacceptable behavior is another key to preventing workplace revenge.

Or, you can let the adults sort it out amongst themselves.

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