Another update from the HR jungle….
Howard works for a small manufacturer that makes steel-toed work boots and fancy stitch cowboy boots. He’s been with the company about six years and worked his way up to the lowest rung of management. That’s where his career stalled.
Howard is convinced that his advancement is stalled because he’s not family. The husband and wife owners use the company to ensure that assorted children and relatives will never be a burden on the unemployment insurance fund for the state. Howard knows this because over the years he’s trained most of the family idiots only to see them get pay raises and promotions ahead of him.
Howard threatened to quit a couple of times, but the owners begged him to stay and made promises that they haven’t kept. So Howard has decided to get even. A couple of times a week he helps himself to some of the leather which he uses in his side business making customized knife and gun holsters. The supply closet has helped him set up his home office and he sometimes uses the office postage machine to cover his mailing expenses.
Lately the owners have complained about rising costs but Howard’s not really worried about being caught. He knows he’s not the only one raiding company property. Besides, the owners treat the business like their personal piggy bank.
What could the owners have done to avoid this employee theft?
- They could create an inventory of company property and periodically update the inventory through audits.
- The owners could initiate internal controls such as requiring authorizations to take leather from the store room or supplies from the supply room.
- They could reconsider some of their employment practices which are causing employee dissatisfaction.
These owners are learning a hard lesson about employee relations. The second most common motivation for employee theft is revenge. Employees who believe their contributions are ignored or undervalued can wreak havoc before they finally leave for the last time.
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