How Some People Do Nothing But Still Get Ahead at Work

Have you ever worked with a person who always looks busy, but never does anything useful?

They are the type of employee that doesn’t have any set tasks but are great at making themselves look important. They swan around the office giving their opinions but rarely actually do anything productive.

Ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce you to the shameless ”self-promoter”.

According to new research from Ashridge at Hult International Business School this workplace personality is more common than originally thought.

Their study examined 28 UK workplaces across seven different employment sectors including health, government and transport.

They found that one in five teams faced a problem. Their staff appeared highly engaged but their output was lagging.

After further examination, the researchers found that these teams were undermined by staff who were successfully “gaming the system” but not really getting anything done.

These employees were constantly in meetings or involved in conversations that benefited them. However, apart from playing the corporate culture, it was difficult to see what they actually achieved.

Senior researcher on the project Amy Armstrong said such “selfish” staff undermined teamwork and damaged productivity.

However, often their behaviour goes unpunished.

“They’re rewarded for that dysfunctional behaviour,” said Dr Armstrong.

In fact, the study found that self-promoters were more likely to get promotions, better pay and bonuses. This is because they put their own goals ahead of their team’s.

“It’s quite a depressing picture,” she said and we have to agree.

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Author Alice Murray

Alice Murray is a Content Creator at Jobbio with a passion for Employer Branding and Graduate Culture. She's a keen traveller and a self-proclaimed lazy runner.

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