Business can be difficult, but business is business. Sometimes you have to do hard things because it’s better for the organization. But deciding what is best for the organization can be a bit fuzzy at times.
What about the operations manager in a field office who uses bribery to close deals and sign contracts?
What if the procurement officer funnels work to suppliers where there is self-interest but is highly efficient?
Do you terminate these people and lose profits and momentum, or do you try to help them change their behavior? Hiring productive people takes a lot of time and effort.
Organizations should promote a culture of ethnics, starting with top management. Unethical behavior puts an organization in legal and criminal risk, as well as making it susceptible to asset and productivity losses.
There are various ways to deter deceptive practices, including the establishment of procedures that require authorizations for more than one person, or expense reports that require valid receipts, and many others. These practices will be mentioned in a future article. The focus of this article is about helping the deceptive employee.
Unethical behavior can be difficult to uncover, and careful planning and means may need to be used to identify it. But once identified, organizations need to have a plan ready.
Rarely is it financially worthwhile to let an employee go, unless they are grossly negligent or are significantly underperforming. In most cases, it is better to work with a productive employee to reduce deceptive behavior.
To help individuals prone to deception, a Harvard Business Review article suggests these tips:
The cost to replace an employee is very high. Estimated costs range between 1.5x and 3x the total burdened cost — including salary, taxes, benefits, training, equipment, and more. (Source: E. Koester, MyHighTechStart-Up.)
Firing a productive employee with the intention to find and rehire someone else isn’t a decision to take lightly. That decision impacts the company’s bottom line. But without productive employees, an organization cannot excel, and that affects the bottom line as well.
Perhaps the best alternative is to provide course correction for the unethical employee, set appropriate expectations, and monitor the outcome. You can always take appropriate action if behavior doesn’t change.
This article was originally published on Huffington Post.