An Untrustworthy Employee – A Staff Disciplinary Case Study

Our Newcastle city centre based client got in touch with us after having Surmount recommended to them by a previous organisation we’d worked with, checking us out online and liking what they saw. They brought us in to consult with regards to concerns they had regarding one of their staff.

The staff member had a sales role within the company that required them to travel the region and meet with selected prospective customers that had been cultivated by the company’s engagement team. The prerequisite of the job was that a certain amount of sales calls per day was expected.

The staff member, who we’ll call ‘Kevin’, was routinely under on his sales calls and blamed it on the extended periods of time that he spent at the calls he did get to, along with traffic delays that he continually faced travelling North to South along the A1 and back again. Our client initially wanted to lawfully fit a GPS tracking device to Kevin’s car but because it was his own car that he used for work and was only paid for miles travelled, the company’s legal team discouraged them from doing so.

The problem had been allowed to develop; mileage claims were starting to look suspicious and meetings were being logged that did not appear legitimate. The client wanted hard, inarguable evidence and we guaranteed them that we would be able to provide it.

The first thing we did was go back over Kevin’s work roster for an entire fortnight – contacting all of the intended customers he had claimed to meet with and getting affirmation from them as to whether he’d attended and how long the meetings had taken place for. We compared them against Kevin’s own logs and found anywhere between 120 minutes and 250 minutes in discrepancies each day over the two week period.

In cases where he had claimed to have met with people who he hadn’t we went out with pre-prepared statements that they duly signed in agreement, clarifying that they had never met with Kevin on the dates and times he had stated.

We then put Kevin under surveillance for one week from the minute he left the office each morning and checked out for the day. Out of the five working days he was under surveillance, we observed him 1) doing the weekly shop with his wife when he should have been in a sales meeting 2) parking up a few streets over from his own home, walking back to it and spending hours at a time at his own address when he was being paid to be travelling the region and 3) travelling to pubs off-the-beaten track and sitting drinking / playing on his iPad alone during working hours.

We compiled all of the photo and video evidence alongside the statements we had drawn from prospective customers and put it together in a report for our client. We then sat alongside them at a formal interview Kevin was invited to where we put our findings to him and questioned him on his behaviour.

Kevin immediately resigned from our client’s company midway through the interview. At the suggestion that the police would be notified of him making fraudulent claims with regards to mileage, he offered to fully repay his mileage claims within 14 days if our client opted not to press charges.

Our client was very happy with the response and wrote to us a week later saying:

“We couldn’t be happier. We knew something was up and that it was starting to have a very big impact on our sales figures and outgoings. You got to the bottom of this in a way that left him unable to argue back or justify what he’d done and the added bonus of recovering all of the mileage he took us for was fantastic. We can’t thank you enough!”

If you or someone you know run a business or manage an organisation but have concerns that a member of staff’s behaviour could be having a negative impact on the day-to-day running of the company, its profits or its reputation contact us today on 07711 863 944 to arrange a free consultation as to how we can help. Alternatively, click here to learn more.