This article comes from Entrepreneur.
If you’re on the fence about how to deal with a lying employee, think about these five questions to help you make up your mind.
If the person was under duress or made a bad decision, it might be forgivable. Meet with the employee and find out the rationale for the lie. For example, if your salesperson fibbed about the order status because she was afraid of getting in hot water, explaining your expectations to her might be the simple correction needed to end that behavior.
A first offense is more likely to be forgivable than repeated untruths. If you explain that lying is unacceptable in your firm and the employee still won’t tell the truth, it’s probably time to take more serious action.
If the lie exposed your company to possible prosecution or risk, the situation can be serious. In such cases, keeping the employee could be considered negligent. For example, if a team member lies about things like taking action required for industry regulatory compliance or employee harassment, it’s best to consult your attorney about how to best protect your firm from risk rather than overlooking the lie.
This is usually a pure gut check. Do you feel like you can trust the employee again? If so, you may be able to work it out.
It’s important not to set a precedent that it’s okay to lie. If you decide to keep the employee, some sort of apology or mea culpa either to all of the employees or the people directly affected by the lie might be a good idea.
A company always has to balance being a good employer to one person with how it’s going to impact the rest of the workforce, and the perception the other person’s coworkers will have.
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