Running a company or a business is no easy task. But the pleasure of being your own boss tops all the other risks you take as an owner. There are so many aspects of your business that need your attention on a regular basis. The advancement in technology has been a blessing to all industries. There are new tools and applications that come up each day to help the daily functions of businesses. But at the same time, it is highly impossible to run companies alone in today’s competitive world. You take help of your subordinates or employees to do the same more efficiently.
Employees are a great asset to your company when they believe in your goal and work for the company like it is their own. These are the employees you have the best employee relationships with. But this is not the case always, there will be times when some employee breaks the company codes. It’s very hard to judge a book by its cover, like a human from his face. There have been instances where the least expected of your employee commits a fraud that you never imagined. These situations get ugly and become a hindrance in relationships at work.
Employee theft is a huge problem. It could be a clerk stealing stationary or some employee manipulating the accounts. In most situations like these, you can find a trail if you are attentive. If you have doubts check your inventory frequently and note how frequently do people complain about lost things.
Before dealing with an employee who is stealing, keep these points in mind:
1. You should have a company policy
This should talk briefly about what points count for breaking company policy and their repercussions. As a business owner or manager make it a point to note that everyone is aware of those policies.
2. Select the right words
These situations are delicate, as well as tricky. You cannot directly accuse someone of stealing unless you are okay fighting a defamation case later. While exposing the employee make sure you are not getting your company into a litigation.
3. Data theft counts as theft too
Theft doesn’t necessarily have to be physical products always; they can also be data that the company has paid for.
4. Remain calm
It is easy to lose your composure in situations like these. But it is even more important to maintain your composure in situations like these. Your aggression will only spoil the situation and not help in resolving it. A calm mind will allow you to decide your next step.
Now you need to understand the logical steps to handle an employee who has been stealing from you:
(Once you are confident that the employee has been stealing data assets, take these steps.)
Make sure that the evidence you have is strong
Immaterial to what evidence who are basing your suspicion on, it should be very strong. It could be in the format of a video or a trustworthy witness. One can gather facts, study behavior, note timings and compile documents that show the discrepancy. These reports can be used during an investigation in the future for subsequent legal action. The evidence is supposed to be meaningful because they back up the accusation that is made. A weak evidence will alert the accused and he/she will never be caught.
Once confirmed, you should terminate the employee immediately
This is because the employee might do further harm to the company if he/she continues to have access. The mentality or physic of such a person of this nature leads to destructive activities. It is very important that to adhere to company policies while you terminate the employee. Look into all the issues that might need addressing before the termination. Things like contracts or bargaining agreements etc.
Notify the police
It is your decision to do or not do this. There are cases where companies terminate the employee with a signed undertaking or a fine amount. But you, as a business owner or manager can refer to your team and proceed to do the needful.
Do not tamper with the employee’s final paycheck-
It might be against the rules of your state. So be careful to check them, before making changes in the final paycheck.
Keep an eye on the employee till he/she is inside the office premises
Change all passwords and back up your computers
The employee who was just fired might want to seek revenge for the embarrassment. You need to be more careful right now. Change the passwords to computers and mailboxes he/she had access to. It is wise to back up computers because you don’t know what the accused had access to.
Look for the flaw or loophole in the system that led to this breach, rectify it in priority.
Dealing with situations of this nature is certainly tricky, but is usually rare. In situations like these, it becomes immensely difficult to manage the tasks that were earlier taken care by the accused employee. You can hire an efficient freelancer to take charge till you find someone to take up the role.
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