Employee dishonesty is a dire concern for business owners because it can have far-reaching implications. The worst part is that dishonest workers abound in workplaces, so you cannot consider your organisation too safe. You may bring them on board unsuspectingly and open the risks of fraud and data theft for your company. Countless business owners suffer because they fail to implement proper measures to build their defences against unscrupulous team members.
The good thing is that safeguarding your organisation against dishonest employees is easier than you imagine. All you need is a proper recruitment process that includes background checks and verifications. Besides getting honest people on your team, you must implement a strategy to stay ahead of dishonest employees so that they do not harm your business and set a bad example. Here are a few surefire steps to prevent internal threats to your company.
A strategic recruitment process gives you a good start with building a trustworthy team. While background checks give you a sneak peek into the history of new hires, you cannot predict the future. Implementing probationary periods for new employees is your best defence against dishonest ones. You can set it at three to six months according to the role and seniority. You may also recruit people as project-based consultants to know them better before onboarding them permanently. The probationary period is like a testing phase, where you should keep track of employee behaviour. Watch out for red flags indicating dishonesty, and take corrective measures immediately. Consider eliminating people you cannot trust.
Alertness is non-negotiable for business owners and managers because it helps them detect dishonest actions sombre than later. You can watch how people behave at work to get a fair idea of their integrity. Someone telling occasional white lies or making tall work-related commitments may indulge in worse in the future. They may even commit serious crimes such as fraud, financial theft, or data pilferage down the line. You can allocate the vigilance task to trusted employees because they can keep a close watch on colleagues.
Another effective measure to stay ahead of dishonest employees is to get proof of their dishonesty so that you can bring suspected behaviour to light. Accusing someone without evidence can land you in trouble as the person may sue your defamation. However, you can do your bit to gather it before moving to the next step. For example, you can get CCTV footage to check their movements on the premises. You can even hire a hacker for cell phone to dig deep into their messages. Someone with access to confidential files and documents can easily click pictures or share digital copies with a competitor. So ensure valid evidence against them.
Business owners often let small issues fester or overlook them to prevent disputes within the team. But it is the worst way to handle a dishonest employee because you may end up encouraging them to try something worse. Moreover, others may try to follow suit only because you fail to take action against dishonest people. Ideally, you must confront them as soon as you have evidence against them. You need not show them the evidence right away, as they may develop a defensive strategy against them. But never let the issues go, no matter how insignificant they appear.
An accountability process also makes a viable defence against dishonest employees. Create a straightforward and measurable process to keep people accountable, regardless of their role and position in the company. You can implement weekly updates and get workers to document their tasks and timelines. A gap between commitments and outcomes is definitely a reason to worry. Consider it a red flag because it indicates that the employee is falling short of expectations. If the gap is intentional, they might be dishonest.
Staying ahead of potential problems is only half the work when it comes to protecting your business from unscrupulous employees. You must take corrective action promptly if you have evidence of dishonesty and get negative signals during a confrontation with such people. Harsh measures such as terminations with or without notice are imperative to dissuade others from trying to emulate the behaviour. But you must have a well-documented process for such terminations in the workplace policy and employee handbook to prevent legal hassles.
Employee dishonesty is intolerable, so no business owner should let it go easily. Follow these steps to stay ahead of dishonest people and protect your organisation from unlawful and risky actions.