By Max Clarke

“A colleague you are friends with has been seriously underperforming — would you report him or her?”

This is the question posed by Monster, the leading job matching engine and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) to more than 10,000 customers across the world. The worldwide findings were:

• Yes, if it will help me get ahead: 4%
• Yes, if the team’s success is on the line: 27%
• No, if possible, I’d help my friend with work: 58%
• No, if the boss doesn’t notice, it’s not my concern: 11%

Respondents in the USA, Monster found, are the most likely globally to report their friend to the boss. More than one in three would tell the boss if the team’s success was being jeopardised by their friend’s performance, while over 5% are ambitious enough to do so to get ahead.

This compares to one in four in the UK and Asiathat would tell the boss if it was affecting the team, with under 4% of respondents in both regions doing so to get ahead in the company.

Thankfully, most of us can depend on friends at work to lend a helping hand when it’s needed; 58% of respondents would step in if a friend was under-performing at work and they could help. However, almost one in three would report their friend to the boss if their performance was detrimental to the team or just if it helped them to get ahead.

Under-performers should hope to be in Asia, as a staggering 70 per cent wouldn’t tell the boss, they’d either help the friend or just leave it to the boss to notice. Just over half in the UK said they wouldn’t tell the boss.

“You might think that people would be likely to complain about under-performing colleagues - especially if it would help them get ahead. In reality, most are prepared put friendship first and to help a coworker who is having trouble,” says Charles Purdy, Monster.com’s career expert.

“Of course, there are people who will be ambitious, or even ruthless, in reporting colleagues to the boss. Employers should be most wary of the fairly high number that wouldn’t do anything unless the boss noticed the under-performance. It points to the fact that employers need to make sure they put implement effective and on-going training programs for staff, and conduct regular 360 degree reviews to judge performance and spot issues early.”