Confronting Employees

When we left Sam yesterday, he’d just gotten his evidence together. But confronting employees isn’t easy. It challenges us like confronting other difficult situations.

At this point, he had three months worth of time-reports showing Robbie’s clock-ins versus his schedule. There was a vast difference since Robbie was padding hours.

Sam next asked me this question, “Now that I have this evidence, what do I do with it?”

“Prepare your information to back up what you will say. Then use this Loss-Time Formula:

  • Calculate the average number of extra hours paid per week over what you reasonably believe he worked.
  • Multiply that figure by his hourly wage.
  • Take the weekly amount and multiply it by four weeks.
  • Take the monthly figure and times it by twelve. This will provide an annual average of time stolen.”

“Is that what I should call it? Stolen time? That seems harsh.”

“It might seem harsh, but isn’t the theft to you and your company equally harsh? This is how I would handle it. First, call in Rich, your manager. Sit down with him and ask him if he knew about Robbie’s stolen time. If he denies knowledge, you can pull out the time-reports, and substantiate it with his signature on the many instances of improper clock-in or out situations.”

“And if he says he knew?”

“Lay the Loss-Time Formula in front of him, point to the annual figure, and ask him this question. “Can you afford to pay our company for this loss of productive work time?”

I could hear Sam expel breath into the telephone receiver. “I’m not sure I can.”

“And that’s exactly how you should respond. Tell Rich that your business cannot afford this kind of loss long-term. Remind him that this very problem has caused many companies to close their doors and left thousands of people without jobs. Ask Rich if he wants that to happen in your business.”

“Wow, that’s powerful.”

“Facts don’t lie, and it’s hard for anyone to dispute hard evidence when it’s in front of them. After you confront Rich, I believe your next step should be to sit down with Rich and Robbie together. Essentially have the same conversation with Robbie. It will be hard for him to deny, with you and his direct supervisor in the room. Most likely, Rich will be very quiet, and you can take the lead. But even if things don’t turn out that way, don’t forget, you have facts on your side. Don’t let emotional outbursts distract you from the truth. Keep going back to what you can substantiate. This will keep the situation from getting out of control.”


Have you ever gritted your teeth to confront a difficult situation? If so, did you have facts to stand on?

Anita FreshFaith @ Work

2 Samuel 22:19 (NIV)

They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.
Confronting Employees

Confronting Difficult Situations

Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her family.

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