Nice employees finish last when it comes to pay

If you think showing kindness and co-operation with colleagues will be recognised in your pay packet, think again.

The study Do nice guys and gals really finish last?, due to appear in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, shows that nice male employees are paid 18% less than their nastier counterparts.

Interestingly, the discrepancy is less pronounced with less agreeable female employees, who only earn 5% more than their affable female colleagues.

The research looks at data collected over approximately 20 years from 10,000 employees. It was carried out by Beth A. Livingston and Timothy A. Judge from the University of Notre Dame in the US, and by Charlice Hurst of the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Derek Irvine, vice president of client strategy and consulting at employee recognition provider Globoforce, said: “This is certainly a headline-grabbing survey: the meaner you are, the more you are likely to earn.

“What is particularly worrying about these findings is that they suggest organisations are actively rewarding bad corporate behaviour, or disagreeableness, rather than trying to instill more positive values.

“Every organisation has a series of values, which it expects its staff to align with, and it is highly unlikely that rudeness falls into that category.

“Why, therefore, are organisations choosing to reward these employees over others?”

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