"British politeness" costing organisations time and money

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Around eight in 10 (78%) UK managers think that over-politeness at work could be costing their business, according to research from expenses management software company webexpenses.

One in five (20%) do not feel comfortable having difficult conversations with employees, the report found, with one in five (20%) also failing to question an expenses claim that they suspected was fraudulent.

Twenty-two per cent of the managers surveyed reported not challenging the people they manage about taking too long on their lunch break, and 21% confessed that they did not confront people coming into work late.

The respondents’ reasoning ranged from not wanting to appear rude (17%) to concerns about losing business (23%), with almost a quarter of managers (23%) admitting to avoiding awkward conversations with clients.

CEO of webexpenses Adam Reynolds said that “British politeness” is having a detrimental effect on the nation’s businesses.

He added: “The reluctance of UK managers to challenge their employees over discrepancies and a failure to observe simple workplace protocol could be costing these organisations considerable amounts of money and time.”

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