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解码偷拿办公用品的心理

更新时间:2018-6-12 20:33:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The psychology of stealing office supplies
解码偷拿办公用品的心理

Have you ever taken office supplies home? Stolen some pens and paper from your employer for your kids’ arts and crafts class? Used the office printer to print personal concert tickets?

你是否曾把办公用品带回家?或是从公司偷拿些纸笔回家给小孩画画或做手工?又或者使用办公室打印机打印游玩行程单?

In a recent anonymous survey by Papermate as part of the launch of a new pen, 100% of office workers admitted to have stolen a pen at work. Other academic researchers have reported that up to 75% of employees admitted to stealing office supplies in the past year.

美国文具公司缤类美(Papermate)近期推出一款新笔时发起了一项匿名调查,数据显示100%的办公室职员承认曾从公司偷过笔。而一些其他学术研究调研报告也指出,75%的雇员在过去一年内偷窃过公司的办公用品。

The damage in economic terms caused by these “petty theft” behaviours have been valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually, may be responsible for roughly 35% of an organisation’s inventory shrinkage annually, and an average of 1.4% of its total revenues.

这种“小偷小摸”积少成多,据统计这种行为每年可造成数千亿美元的经济损失,会消耗各公司办公用品全年库存的35%,平均约占各公司年总收入的1.4%。

So if these behaviours are so harmful to our economy, why do we engage in them?

由此可见,这种行为对经济损害很大,但为何人们会这么做?

When you start a new job, your employer tends to make a series of promises to you with regards to your employment that are not necessarily part of your written contract.

通常雇主会给刚入职的员工许很多承诺,但并不一定白纸黑字地都落实在合同里。

Imagine that your employer promised you “flexible working hours” and a “collegial work environment.” By making these promises, your employer has created a set of expectations. These expectations form the basis of what we call a psychological contract.

设想雇主在聘用员工时口头许诺提供“弹性工作时间”或“良性工作环境”等,这些承诺会构建员工的心理预期,从而形成了劳资双方“心理契约”(psychological contract)的基础。

As long as your employer keeps up his/her part of the deal, you will be a happy, committed and loyal employee. The only imperfection to this situation is that it rarely exists. We know that over time, employers and employees’ perceptions of what was promised may start to drift apart.

若雇主一方信守承诺,雇员一方也会保持愉快、尽责而忠诚。但实际情况是好景不长。工作时间愈长,雇主和员工双方对之前承诺的理解就愈见分歧。

Broken promises

违背承诺的雇主

In reality a lot of people will perceive that their employer is deviating from his/her original promises. Indeed, about 55% of employees report that their employer broke promises within the first two years of employment, and 65% have experienced a broken promise within the last year.

现实情况是很多人认为雇主背弃了当初的承诺。研究发现,55%的员工表示雇主在头两年就违反了承诺,而65%的员工表示在过去一年遭受了雇主不守承诺。

More recently, researchers have found that employees experience broken promises at a weekly and even daily rate.

最近更有研究指出,员工每星期甚至每日都会遭遇此事。

At this point you are probably thinking: “So if they break their promises so often, they must at least apologise for them, right?” Sadly enough, a series of recent findings has indicated that employers hardly ever seem to notice that they did something wrong.

看到这里,你可能会想:“若雇主经常违反承诺,至少要为此道歉吧?”可惜最近的很多研究都表明,雇主根本意识不到自身错误。

As a consequence, they only try to justify or rectify their actions about 6% to 37% of the time. It therefore seems that employers break promises rather frequently, but they do not seem to acknowledge their wrongdoing or intervene to offer a solution.

正因为如此,雇主只会对自身6%到37%的行为进行辩解或纠正。这样看来,雇主不守承诺很常见,但他们大多不承认那是错误行为,更遑论提供解决方案。

If you wrong us, shall we not be vengeful?

你亏待我,我不该报复吗?

Because these promises are such a central part of your employment agreement, you feel that when your employer breaks them, you can take what is “rightfully” yours.

承诺是雇佣契约的核心。有人认为,既然雇主食言在先,那自己也可以拿走“本就该归自己”的东西。

Employees who experience broken promises tend to experience a series of very intense negative emotions such as anger, frustration and outrage, which in turn will lead to a higher desire to dominate, retaliate and get even with the employer.

遭遇雇主亏待的员工会容易出现一系列非常强烈的负面情绪,譬如气愤、沮丧以及暴怒等,进而想要掌控甚至报复雇主,以牙还牙。

Moreover, researchers found that this effect was most profound among those who were excellent at their jobs and expected to be treated fairly, meaning that an organisation’s best employees are most likely to be “vengeful” in the face of broken promises.

此外,研究人员还发现,工作出色又期望获得公正待遇的员工,受亏待后遭遇的负面效应更严重。换言之,最优秀的员工面对雇主违诺时最有可能实施“报复”。

Some studies have also demonstrated that some people seem to enjoy behaving vengefully, especially when they are in a higher status role and when they feel more dominant. So when we add one and one together, we notice that the combination of “a desire to retaliate” and “enjoying enacting vengeful” leads to a positive reinforcement of this behaviour.

另有一些研究表明,有些人乐于报复,而当他们位高权重时就更是如此。 综合来看,“报复雇主的欲望”和“实施报复的快感”两者叠加起在一起,往往会强化员工的报复行径。

As a consequence, employees are far more likely to be vengeful in the future when they are confronted with a broken promise because they mainly experienced positive consequences of their negative behaviour.

采取恶劣的报复行为后,员工心理上却获得正反馈。这将造成的后果是,一旦员工再遇到雇主不兑现承诺的情形,他们就更容易产生报复倾向。

Getting even is short-lived

以牙还牙非长久之计

Does this mean that I am advocating for you to behave vengefully when your employer broke one or more promises to you? Of course not. Allow me to explain using the acronym BRAIN: Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Information and Nothing.

那么,当遭遇雇主违背承诺的情况,员工应该采取报复行为吗?我认为不应该。我想以一个英文缩写“BRAIN”(中文也有“头脑”之意)来阐述我的观点。“BRAIN”的五个字母分别代表了“获益”(Benefits)、“风险”(Risks)、“其他办法”(Alternatives)、“信息”(information)以及“无为而治”(Nothing)。

First of all, when you experience a broken promise, take a step back and think about the potential benefits of being vengeful in light of the risks associated with stealing from your employer.

首先,遭遇雇主失信时,员工应退一步思考报复行为的潜在获益和偷窃的风险。

While it might feel sweet to get even with your employer who broke his/her promise to you, we know that the hedonic high of “getting even” is short-lived. In fact, it’s highly likely that you will soon feel guilty about your bad behaviour.

兴许报复失信的雇主会令人感觉愉悦,但这种“以牙还牙”带来的快感非常短暂。事实上,你可能很快会对自己的所作所为感到内疚。

You also run the risk of getting caught and potentially losing your job. So ask yourself the question: “Is it truly worth it?” Instead think about the alternatives!

加之得冒着被逮到的风险,甚至还可能丢掉工作,扪心自问:“这真的值得吗?”不如想想别的辙儿。

As I already mentioned, your employer is often unaware of the fact that he/she broke a promise to you. However, studies also found that you can change the dynamic if you speak up in a respectful manner.

如上文所述,雇主其实常常没有意识到他们做的某些事情违背了对你的承诺。而亦有研究指出,员工以尊重的态度告知雇主,提出问题就能扭转局势。

Tell your employer which promise he or she broke and how it affects your functioning and ultimately the organisation’s performance. Employers often respond well to this type of dialogue — at least in 52% to 66% of the cases — and will try to make things right by apologising or offering a compensation.

可以直接与雇主沟通,告诉他/她违背了哪条承诺,此事如何影响了个人工作表现和组织绩效。雇主通常会重视这类对话,数据显示至少有52%到66%的情况下,他们会道歉或做补救。

However, before you do anything make sure you have all the information you need. Ask yourself questions such as:

但无论采取行动前请先确保已掌握全部信息,弄清楚必要问题,如:

“Is this broken promise beyond my employer’s control?”

“雇主此次的失信行为是否属于他/她可掌控的范围内?”

“Did colleagues experience the same broken promise?”

“其他公司同事有否经历过类似的违诺事件?”

“Is this the first time that something like this happened to me?”

“该情况是否是首次发生?”

The more information you have, the better you can judge what to do in this case: Letting this one slide, speaking up, asking for a compensation, etc.

掌握的信息越多,你对情况的判断就会越准确:我该缄默不语;提出问题;还是要求补偿等。

Recent findings suggest that you are more likely to trigger a reaction, such as getting an apology or a remedy, when you can demonstrate to your employer that he/she purposefully broke his/her promise. Because by doing so, you can demonstrate that they have control over the situation and thus can correct their wrongful behaviour.

近期有研究表明,若员工能向雇主阐明他/她是蓄意违背承诺,得到反馈的几率更高,更可能获得雇主的道歉或是补偿。因为你以此向雇主说明此事件在他们的掌控范围内,该错误可以被纠正。

Moreover, you are more likely to get an apology or a remedy if you can involve other people who experienced a similar broken promise; the power is in larger numbers.

再者,如果你能召集到越多有相似遭遇的同事,雇主道歉或是实施补偿的概率就越大——毕竟人多力量大。

Finally, and before you do anything, ask yourself: “Is it truly worth it?”

最后,采取任何行动前都先问问自己:“是否真的值得?”

Maybe sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do in the face of a broken promise. I am not saying that you should not speak up when witnessing or experiencing injustices in the workplace, instead I am suggesting you pick your battles.

也许有时遭遇到雇主不守承诺,最好什么都不做。我的意思可不是让你在工作场合看到或是遭到不公平待遇时保持缄默不语,而是审慎思考,有所为,有所不为。

By deciding which aspects of your employment agreement are non-negotiable to you and which aspects are nice to have but not need to have, you can protect yourself from having to deal with every broken promise.

先确认在雇佣合约中那条哪项对你来说必须寸土不让,而哪些属于锦上添花,并非必争之地。如此一来,你就不用个个都去处理。

My advice is to use your BRAIN when being confronted with a broken promise in your workplace and know that you can speak up to get an apology or remedy instead of sticking your fingers in the supply closet.

我的个人建议是,在工作场合遭遇雇主失信时使用“BRAIN”法则。要记着你可以将问题提出来,要求雇主道歉或获得补偿,但请不要从办公用品柜里顺手牵羊。

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