Trust but Verify, Even When You Think You Know Your Employees

 In Business, Business Operations

When you discover that a trusted employee has breached your trust, such as having been caught stealing from your firm, your first thoughts might be, “How could this happen?  Why did I not see this?  How could he/she do this to me?” These questions are common to business owners facing such situations.

Trust is a one trait we human beings often take for granted after employees pass initial due diligence: background checks, maybe a credit check or financial review, and perhaps a few phone calls to former employers to verify references.  Normally, there is a honeymoon period when we believe the individual will never do anything untoward. We all want to believe that we have made the right decision when hiring a new employee, especially if he/she is who we need to meet customer demand right now.

Nevertheless, please spend the extra time to complete each reverification step AFTER THE HIRE.  This can help ensure that you have indeed hired the correct employee.

  1. Complete thorough on-boarding.
  2. Get feedback about the new team member from your staffer who conducted the orientation and training.
  3. Check in with the employee repeatedly in early weeks, asking several formalized questions to assure there are no red flags.
  4. Review documentation: sales receipts, vendor bills, timesheets, email logs. These resources assure your new team member is adjusting and helping keep the operation running as you desire.
  5. Schedule three- and six-month formal reviews.

After you’ve had an incident like our vendor business owner experienced, it’s not uncommon for some paranoia to set in. You might think you cannot trust anybody.

Avoid those thought patterns. Instead, simply know that, as the business owner, you need to pay attention all the time, to all facets of your operations.  Failure to do so could result in some unpleasant outcomes followed by difficult conversations with your team.

Stay involved from the beginning, methodically and formally, to diminish the possibility negative staff situations occur in the future.

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