We don’t talk about it much but most of us have experienced employee theft in our corporate lives. The multi-million dollar hits make the headlines; ours seldom do and yet, they’re just as impactful. Like it or not, none of us is immune and when theft is discovered, there is no limit to the range of emotions we may experience. It’s usually met first with anger, perhaps a sense of betrayal and ultimately by confusion about what to do next; after all, chances are we knew the thief!
Because I’ve worked with so many enterprises my familiarity with corporate theft is more than I would like; even worse, I have experienced it personally. I’ve seen it in dollars, merchandise, services and supplies.
The spectrum has covered everything from a run on office supplies at back-to-school time to hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of goods. What follows is a summary of a few of the many I’ve seen. I’ve categorized them as equity, meaning equitable treatment; need, suggesting excessive debt or credit squeeze; and criminal intent. Not all were handled appropriately.
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