How to Trace Dishonesty In the Workplace (Curbing Employee Misconduct)

Professional relationships are built on honesty.
For example, an employee that knows the production process of a product, are trusted not to share those details with competitors. A manager is expected to be honest when he’s writing and distributing paychecks. 
Unfortunately, not everyone you’ll work with or hire will prescribe to this need for honesty.
So, it’s important to know how to recognize and handle dishonesty in the workplace. 

1. Lies from Potential Employees 

Let’s start small and look at lies. The first place to look out for these is on their resumes. If someone lies professionally, it usually shows in exaggerations on their resume.
So, you’re going to want to verify anything they tell you and take anything that sounds fantastical with a grain of salt.  The best way to check for this is to ask for references from past jobs.
If someone has to back up their claims, they’re less likely to lie. If they are dishonest, it’ll be clear when you call past employers and ask for further information. 

2. Taking Advantage of Company’s Time 

When an employee clocks into work, they’re promising to use that time until the end of their shift to work on behalf of the company.
However, many use at least some of this time to slack off. Maybe they’re talking to coworkers, playing computer games, or making personal calls. This is not only a waste of time but a waste of company money as well. 
The first sign of employee dallying is decreased performance. While a bad day happens to everyone, a continuous decreased output is a bad sign. 
Many companies try to stay ahead of this problem by tracking everything that happens in the office. Checking employee calls and having access to office internet history helps to hold everyone accountable for their time.
If you have employees who drive a company car strictly for work purposes, you can also keep an eye on their mileage.

3. Internal Theft 

Internal theft is one of the leading causes of small business failure. Theft is defined differently between businesses, though.
Some cite taking profitable items like merchandise as theft, while others say taking anything from the office at all – even a pen – qualifies. 
One of the biggest ways to combat this problem is to watch employee hours. If things start to go missing and someone is consistently staying late or arriving early, that’s suspicious. It’s a good idea to supervise employees when theft is suspected.
You can also install security cameras in your workplace to avoid the problem or find the perpetrator.  It can also go a long way to have a system in which employees can safely report theft.
In the event of internal politics or they fear retribution, they aren’t going to tell superiors when suspicious activity is happening. 

4. Fraud 

While physical theft is a problem, fraud is an issue that deserves to be addressed on its own. Fraud is when an employee is dishonest in the workplace for financial gain. 
We often hear of fraud in terms of corporate fraud which is when a business operates illegally or “fraudulently” for financial gain. Employee fraud is the same concept but on an individual or small group level.  There are a few ways to spot the person who might be committing fraud in the company.
A big sign is when someone is expressing disdain for the company more than usual. Of course, everyone complains about their workplace, so this doesn’t necessarily mean they did it.
Just make sure to look over their expenses with the company and see if there’s anything suspicious. If you can’t find out who is stealing from the company, it can be useful to turn to a private investigator in Pretoria or your locale. 

5. Misused Time Off

This type of misconduct is fairly easy to spot. If an employee is taking plenty of days off with no good explanation, you’re likely dealing with someone who’s taking advantage of their days off.
While you want to be flexible with your employees, you don’t want to let them take advantage of you. 
There are plenty of reasons that employee dishonesty can be a problem. Not only is it bad for the overall company culture but it can seriously cut into profits as well.
Watch out for the signs we’ve looked at here to make sure you keep your company in top shape. 


Navrajvir Singh
Navrajvir Singh
Entrepreneur. Strategist. Think Tank.

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