Sometimes The Top Performers are Thieves
I read onetime somewhere that many child molesters are over achievers in their field. The reason behind this is because when someone accuses them it won’t be believed since they are so respected and looked up to in the community. You can have a similar thing going on in your company. When hired to manage the Plumbing, HVAC Company I replaced a manager who was considered a top performer but a week after I got there I did an inventory (you should always do an inventory when management changes) and was $30k short on equipment and parts. I heard that he took it, and later he was wanted on felony charges for stealing from his next position with the same company. I had a manager friend who was my peer that told me one night over too many beers that he had gotten $150k in kickbacks from a vendor in his previous job this was back around the early 1990’s and that is a bunch of money. You can bet his company paid for that. I could tell you about the Manager who took the store from $1400 to over $2000 per day and I caught him stealing. After replacing him with a new manager sales went back down to $1400 per day and the owner commented that he should have just made a deal with the last manager, just give me $2000 per day and you can keep the rest! I don’t need to keep going on with this list of examples and there are more, but by now you get the point. Just because someone is consistently a high performer, don’t excuse them if you suspect stealing. If you notice that your cost of sales is up or a particular vendor is suddenly getting all the business, or you hear rumors about a top performer don’t pass it off without some thoughtful examination of the numbers and observation of employee’s habits. This is slightly unrelated but I once had an assistant manager who would always stay late at work. I would usually leave about 5:00 or 5:15 PM and he was always still there when I left. Well I had a dispatcher quit in the office and a...
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