“I’ve gotten word that my employee is clocking in, and then going for a two-hour run on my time. He’s in training.” I could hear the frustration. Sam’s a resort owner I consult for, and he called me for advice on a prickly employee situation.
“How did you discover this was taking place?”
“One of my long-time employees is leaving. In her exit interview she started telling me all kinds of things I didn’t know. Not only is Robbie stealing time in the morning, but she says half the time he doesn’t clock out for lunch, and at shift end will often call back in two to three hours to say he forgot, and could someone clock him out.”
“Have you verified her claims?”
“Yes. I pulled time reports, and sure enough, everything she said is true. I know for a fact that he takes at least an hour lunch everyday, because I see him, and yet he clocks out for twenty or thirty minutes a couple of times a week. That’s it.”
“Has he worked for you a long time, or short?” I said.
“Robbie’s like a son.” Sam’s voice cracked, “I even pay him to landscape the yard at my house. He’s worked for me since he was sixteen, and he’s in his mid-twenties now.”
“Have you talked to him about it yet?”
“No, I just found out. I wanted to call you first. But what disturbs me even more is that Rich, his supervisor apparently knows, and is allowing it to happen.”
“Have you talked to Rich about the situation?”
“Not yet. Should I have to? I mean, he’s the supervisor I’m paying to watch over things, isn’t it his job to stay on top of situations like this?”
“Of course it’s his job, but you need to find out why he’s allowing this to happen. Does he know what Robbie’s doing? How does Rich justify Robbie’s behavior if he does know?
“Oh, he knows all right. He signs off on all the clock-in and out reports.”
“Then you need to talk to Rich immediately. If you don’t address it, there’s no accountability.”
“What do I say? How should I handle it?” Sam’s obvious discomfort expressed a common concern from owners and managers I’ve dealt with for years.
Tomorrow, I’ll outline the specific steps I gave Sam, and we’ll talk about accountability in the face of inappropriate behavior from employees.
In today’s work culture, too often, supervisors feel bogged down and try to run from employee problems. Feeling ill-equipped, confused, and sometimes afraid, they struggle, strapped with emotional gear, hoping if they run in the opposite direction, employees will figure it out. Employers want subordinates to fix their own problems. But it doesn’t work that way. Everyone needs a coach.
How do you deal with deception at work? Do you need to peel away excess emotional gear so you can address problems effectively?
Anita FreshFaith @ Work
1 Corinthians 9:26 (NIV)
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her family.