5 Ways to End Workplace Dishonesty
How well do you understand workplace dishonesty—the reasons behind it and the different forms it can take on? We are bringing you a deep dive on dishonesty and how to identify it—as well as five tips to preventing it from happening in the first place.
As a small business, you should understand and be able to recognize the various types of workplace dishonesty. It is important to be proactive when it comes to addressing dishonesty because it not only costs businesses valuable time and resources, but it also has a negative impact on a company's bottom line and affects company morale—possibly leading to more dishonest behavior by other employees.
Below are three reasons why workplace dishonesty may occur:
Reason no. 1: Employee dissatisfaction. When an employee feels low morale or is dissatisfied with their job, the company management, or conditions in the workplace, they may engage in employee theft, misrepresentation of work hours on their time sheets, or slowing down production, among other things.
Reason no. 2: Weak accountability systems. Do you have good checks and balance systems, accounting and inventory systems? If not, you risk employee dishonesty. If there is no fear of being caught, stealing becomes attractive and can easily occur.
Reason no. 3: Disgruntled employees. Employees who believe they're underpaid or underappreciated may feel inclined to lie, cheat or steal.
Workplace dishonesty can come in many forms, including the following.
Form no. 1: Lying. Whether employees lie to their bosses, each other, or even to customers, they can cause a great deal of damage to a small business.
Form no. 2: Misuse of company time. Employees who conduct personal business during company time are essentially being dishonest and can cause a company to lose money through their actions. This includes personal phones calls, social media or internet use (unless it’s connected to their jobs and approved), taking excessive breaks and more.
Form no. 3: Absences under false pretenses. Excessive absences under false pretenses are also considered dishonest behavior. This can include abusing time off, vacation time, sick leave and personal days.
Form no. 4: Other unethical conduct. This type of dishonesty can cover things like submitting incorrect time sheets, theft (account padding, embezzlement, stealing cash or merchandise, creating phantom vendors, etc), drug or alcohol abuse and more.
The following tips can help you crack down and reduce dishonesty in your business.
Tip no. 1: Address morale issues and any concerns regarding workplace dissatisfaction.
Tip no. 2: Create systems for all accounting entries, petty cash receipts and inventory to monitor activity and prevent dishonesty.
Tip no. 3: Nip possible dishonesty in the bud before you hire by doing background checks on resumes and candidates.
Tip no.4: Keep a close eye on existing employees’ interactions with their supervisors, customers and other employees.
Tip no. 5: Create a system of checks and balances and put these in writing. Include any repercussions that may accompany these behaviors (such as suspension, termination or legal action) and distribute written policies to all employees.
President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Speaker, Trainer, Corporate Security ExpertTimothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.