ASK HR: Can I report my colleagues for stealing from our employer?

Thursday October 25 2018

My workmates are dishonest lot and I cannot sand their behaviour. However, I am afraid of telling on them lest they turn against me. PHOTO | FILE


Q. My workmates are a very dishonest lot. Sometimes when we go out for fieldwork, they spend the whole day doing their own things at the expense of the assigned work. They misuse company resources such as vehicles by making irrelevant trips. They also demand to be compensated for overtime hours worked when in actual sense, they leave work before the official time. I am afraid of telling them out lest they turn against me. But I also cannot stand their behaviour. Please advise me.

Although cases of misuse of company resources are not unheard of, it would seem that fraud is putting up a home in your organisation.

Are your colleagues the only ones culpable of misappropriation of company resources? Without an environment that either nurses or condones it, your workmates behaviour would not bloom.

Is sufficient attention given to the supervision of field staff in your organisation? How are your workmates currently performing against their targets?

How challenging are your own performance targets? If they are comparable to those of your colleagues, is there a clear difference between your results and theirs?

Has a colleague recently received recognition for sterling performance? If such an individual forms part of the lot about whose behaviour you are concerned, it will not be long before your organisation faces a rude awakening.


Is the organisation performing so well that there is plenty of time for employees to routinely attend to their personal matters during working hours and still meet performance expectations?

A period of relative success can lure a company to turn a blind eye to overindulgence and live in a bubble of smugness that numbs its ability to smell the coffee and mitigate risk.

It is common for some employees not to view working time as forming part of the company resources that they need to steward responsibly.

Working hours may not have a company asset tag, but they form the medium without which business opportunities cannot be fully exploited.

Your colleagues are perpetrating fraud. If you do not feel comfortable sharing the information with your supervisor directly, address the matter with HR.

Whatever the case, report the matter and suggest that more can be achieved within working hours and that expenses should be examined thoroughly.

In the meantime, purpose to set a positive example for your colleagues, your behaviour holds greater import than words.

If there is no organisational will to change the status quo, consider that protracting your stay in such an environment predisposes your career to enduring stains.


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