Business is sometimes personal. When we’ve spent so long nurturing our employees, and building up the business, or even going without in our personal lives to ensure that our workers’ needs are met, it can feel like a punch in the gut if word comes to us that an employee is committing fraudulent acts, or are trying to defraud you in a financial or professional sense. But, if this has been brought to your attention, the temptation can be to leap upon it right away. Instead, it’s better for you to take the cool and calculated approach…
Having An Appropriate Investigation Strategy
You have to stay within the rules and regulations appropriate to the workplace. It’s not professional to act on rumor. Instead, taking your time to amass quantifiable evidence gives you sufficient backup, should there be resistance met. Instead, it is far more appropriate for you to tighten up your security measures, but it also helps to have documented evidence of the person committing the fraudulent act. If it gets to the point where the police are involved, or it is taken to court, you need to ensure that the defense lawyer has enough evidence to support your claims.
Confronting The Employee
Once you have enough evidence, it is time to speak to the guilty party. Naturally, they will deny it, and by presenting them with the documented evidence, you can deal with them accordingly. At this stage, ensuring the documented evidence is secure, either with additional backups or copies, can prevent this fraudulent employee from tampering with it. Depending on the severity of the act, and how you want to approach the subject, you may wish to press charges, or you might want to implement the appropriate disciplinary action.
Ensuring This Doesn’t Happen Again
Ultimately, an employee committing a fraudulent act is exposing your business weaknesses, and it is important for you to prevent this from ever happening. Tightening your security methods, but also, cascading the appropriate information relating to punishments, should act as a natural deterrent. The punishment should fit the crime, and for small businesses, where one person is so important, that them being let go could severely impact the overall structure, it is still imperative that you instigate the appropriate punishment.
While it can be very demoralizing to find that an employee has committed fraudulent acts, consider this to be a lesson in how best to fix your faults. Depending on the nature of the fraudulent activity, you may find that your whole structure needs revamping, or your tech security policies need reviewing. Whatever occurred, chalk it up to experience now. It’s going to hurt, because an employee, someone you trusted, showed your business up to have gaping holes, but it is far better for you to have someone within your organization commit this fraud than a cyber-terrorist, or someone that you couldn’t monitor. We learn many lessons when it comes to protecting our business assets and fraudulent activities are very visceral realizations to entrepreneurs, but it’s one of the best ways any business can heal and grow and develop a new mindset in business.