Who they are: How to Handle An Employee Who Lies - Everyone tells a little white lie now and again but a dishonest worker is something else entirely; as their manager, it can be a very delicate situation to handle.
Dishonest employees may tell lies about their whereabouts, make excuses as to why they couldn’t get to work on time, blame others for their lack of productivity, take the credit away from other people when they haven’t done the work themselves and even lie outright about certain situations.
I’ve heard stories of managers who have had employees lie to them about family bereavements or imaginary surgeries that meant they needed a week off work with very little notice. The employee obviously isn’t worried about bad karma! In more extreme cases, a dishonest employee may steal from the company, at which point you need to part ways. The stealing may or may not be in their true nature but they have overstepped a line and you can never trust them again.
What to do: The difficulty in handling an employee who lies about their outside activities is that you cannot legally investigate his or her claims outside the place of employment; you can’t legally ring around the hospitals in your area, for instance, trying to find out if he or she really is having that hernia repair. You may be suspicious based on his or her previous behaviour, but you can only investigate cases of deception or dishonesty as they relate to the office or work environment. The first thing you should obviously do if the employee claims they are ill is to demand a doctor’s note and follow up on it. But what can you do if they lie about other things that you cannot ascertain?
How should you deal with someone who consistently tells lies or stretches the truth?
Dealing with employees who lie is never easy. Try to avoid using the L word in your discussion if you can; he or she will no doubt rear up at being called a liar, even if it is true! Always create a positive and honest work environment to counteract the opportunity or need to lie to you; be truthful with your staff, never lie to them and make it clear that you expect the same in return. Encourage them to tell the truth on all matters.
If you suspect many of your team are lying to you, you need to ask yourself why. Could it be that your management style is so severe that they never want to get on your bad side, or they are even scared of telling you the truth? If that’s the case, you are the one who is going to need to change.
If a worker is found to be stealing, that is usually an immediate sacking offence and may even involve calling in the police. Speak to your immediate supervisor or HR immediately that you discover the truth and seek legal advice on what to do.