You Caught Your Employee Lying. What Should You Do?

June 16th, 2016

There are many reasons an employee might choose to lie. Sometimes it is an unhealthy defense mechanism that kicks in when they feel threatened or afraid. Or they might want to manipulate the truth to make a situation appear different than it actually happened. As a manager, if you catch an employee in the act, how do you respond? Here are a few things to do when you find out an employee has been lying.

Follow your company protocol.

Your company should already have information spelled out in an employee handbook that deals with dishonesty on the job. If not, you should work with employment experts to ensure that there is a company protocol in place. When you discover an employee has lied, follow the requirements exactly to ensure that you are treating this employee and their co-workers fairly. Documenting everything and being transparent with all decisions will only help in the long term.

Gauge the extent of the lie.

The next step is to determine the severity of the lie. Falsifying records or recording incorrect hours to receive higher pay are very serious behaviors. However, there might be smaller issues or withholding information that may not affect the business or other individuals. It is important to know what you’re dealing with before you can determine the appropriate action.

Ignore or deflect a small lie.

You do have the right to ignore lies that are not harmful. This is entirely up to you and your corporate culture. Or, you can even deflect what was said by responding with accurate information. If you do this, your employee may not realize they were caught in a lie but rather that you didn’t know they were lying and corrected them.

Discipline a big lie.

However, if there may be cases when the lie isn’t something that can be swept under the rug. For example, you might find that a new employee lied on their resume. Or they may be taking credit for someone else’s work. Or, they may be falsifying documents that affect employment or a co-worker. Depending on the action, you will need to discipline the employee appropriately.

Confront the dishonest employee.

Lastly, you want to take care in the way you confront a dishonest employee. You should not confront them in front of an audience as that can escalate the issue and you don’t know how your other employees will view it. Instead, call them into a private meeting and talk to them about what you’ve found. Allow them to share their side of the story, but be cautious since they have already demonstrated they are willing to be dishonest when talking to you.

At Meador, our solutions help employers cut costs, improve workforce flexibility, and find top candidates for their unique needs. Contact a leader in staffing agencies in Austin TX today to get started!

houston-tx-staffing