Certified Source Blog
I Caught My Employee Lying. What Happens Next?
You asked your employee to fulfill a simple task and they claim they have done it. But it turns out later that you find out they weren’t being honest. Once you catch your employee in a lie it can be disappointing, but it can also have further ramifications on your business’ productivity. If you have caught your employee lying, what happens next? Continue reading to determine the steps you should take.
No matter what the lie may be, it is important as a business owner to address the issue to ensure you aren’t reinforcing bad behaviors. Even if the task wasn’t urgent, that doesn’t mean that the same thing won’t happen in the future when the issue is more important. Once an employee lies about a minor mistake that you have caught, what will stop it from occurring in the future if you let it slide?
Catching an employee in a lie can be incredibly disheartening for an employer because it calls the integrity of the person into question. Depending on the severity of the issue, it may be important to turn it into a teaching lesson by writing up the employee. However, more severe instances may even require you to terminate the employee. If you decide to give the employee in question a second chance, you will need to have a serious conversation with them to let them know you are disappointed and won’t tolerate it in the future.
While this may be an uncomfortable conversation, allowing this behavior to happen once can quickly escalate into a much larger problem. Taking the lie on a case by case basis may be important for ensuring that you are making the right decision. But taking the time to address the issue is critical no matter how small the problem may seem. Maintaining transparency and accountability with your employees can help set ground rules so they know exactly what to expect.
Instead of opting for an email or text message, take the time to sit down with the employee to talk through the situation to get a better grasp on what happened before determining any disciplinary action. There’s a chance that you don’t have the whole story. Just ensure that you are able to separate fact from fiction throughout the process and stick to your principles as an employer. Some behaviors to watch for include:
- Providing statements of denial that don’t line up with the story.
- Fidgety body motions or excessive movement while talking.
- Limited eye contact when explaining the situation.
- Talking too much or speaking slower than normal.
- Shrugging or repeated phrases to prolong their thought process.
Never call an employee a liar to their face because this can only escalate the situation and never turn the process into an interrogation to find the answer you are hoping to. This will not only make the situation worse, but it could potentially call your professionalism into question as well. Instead, gather the evidence needed and make a decision based on the findings that you have achieved.
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