Just about every company deals with employees that can cause trouble for the company, other coworkers, or themselves. These people often commit workplace offenses that they don’t believe to be as bad as they really are. Workplace offenses cause chaos and distrust in the workplace, which can lead to a toxic workplace environment. Before you brush off some of those ‘typical’ offenses that happen in the workplace, take a moment to consider exactly how damaging they can be, and why you shouldn’t tolerate it in your company.
Stealing a Coworker’s Food
If you’ve never had to deal with the annoyance of having a coworker steal you food, consider yourself lucky. There are few things worse than thinking about your lunch for half of the workday, only to discover that someone else has eaten it. Many companies consider someone stealing lunches as just one of those things that happen, but it is something that definitely shouldn’t be tolerated. When an employee steals another person lunch, they are telling the entire company that they couldn’t care less about the people that they work with.
Often times, the lunch thief has no idea who they’re stealing from, nor what type of situation that person is going through. Even though the victim has a job, they could be going through hard times, and the food stolen from them could very well be the only meal that they will have that day. If your company ignores the food thief, you are telling the victim that you don’t value them enough to ensure that their belongings are safe while they are at work. This could lead to the victim filling a complaint within the company, or it can even lead to them quitting. If the victim has health issues that require them to eat, such a low or high blood sugar, they could pass out and injure themselves. This has the potential to lead to a lawsuit, especially if the victim has had their food stolen more than once.
Stealing Office Supplies
Stealing office supplies is another offense that many companies don’t think much of. While taking an ink pen or a legal pad may not be much of big deal, you still want to be mindful of those employees that you know are taking these things. In many cases, if the employee is willing to steal things like pens and staplers, they’re also willing to steal other things. When an employee begins stealing from its employer, it usually leads to two things. The employee stops seeing the items that they use at work as the company’s belongings, and starts seeing them as things they can take whenever they want. When a employer notices that an employee is stealing small dollar items like staplers, it will start to keep an eye on that particular employer. If some type of financial discrepancy comes up, that employee will often be the first one accused, and ultimately fired.
Another thing that happens when employees steal office supplies is that that they’re coworkers begin to distrust them. If a coworker is missing some money out of her purse, the office supply thief is going to be accused even if they didn’t take anything out of their coworker’s purse. The fact that coworker is stealing creates distrust in the company. This often causes stress in the workplace, which isn’t good for anyone.
GossipingGossiping leads to nothing but trouble in the workplace. Many times companies turn a deaf ear to gossiping, but terrible things can happen when employees gossip. The worst thing about gossiping is that it destroys a sense of teamwork and community in the workplace. Worst of all, if the gossip leaves the building (which it often does), it can ruin an employee’s personal life. This can lead to dangerous situations such as irate, or disgruntled employees that want to use violence to get even.
Even what you consider to be minimal workplace offenses should be treated as major ones. Your employees should feel safe and appreciated while they are at work. If not, it can lead to multiple issues that you don’t want, or are not prepared to deal with, and it really isn’t worth the trouble.