It is clear that the employee’s problem is misinformation or disregard for the theft policy of the company. Any company policy should be well defined and understood by stakeholders (Trigg, 2020). The most important step that I would take as an HR manager in this situation is to carry out employee screening for their understanding of the theft policy. Therefore, I would resolve the situation by instructing the employee to replace the stolen bulb.
Second, I would come up with a screening mechanism to understand what the employees thought about the incident, and if they thought that the employee was right in taking the bulb. The screening would include several questions that would seek to understand the employees’ perceptions of small company property such as pens and bulbs. This will aid me to understand the company’s culture towards theft and their perception of the theft policy.
Understanding the perception of the employees regarding the theft policy will identify areas that need to be corrected. Before going for tighter policies, I would ensure that the existing policies are well understood (Trigg, 2020). This will be achieved by clearly defining what constitutes employee theft, which will include information, company time, money, customer credit card numbers, inventory, samples, broken or returned items, property, or any equipment and supplies.
The policy will be more detailed and descriptive to leave no grey area or room for debate and mistakes. The next step will involve ensuring that the employees understand the progressive discipline steps and sending a copy to the workers’ union that represents the employees. I would then organize a seminar on employee theft policy and educate all employees on the policy to eradicate any form of ignorance or excuse. This will be followed by stricter and tighter policies on theft.
The Role of Corporate Culture in Resolving Theft Issues
The corporate culture of a company involves the manner in which it conducts its business, taking into account its ethics and how employees within the company reach decisions in line with the corporate ethics and culture. It is the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company and the stakeholders of an organization interact and handle their business (Han, 2020). Therefore, corporate culture plays an important role in the issue of employee theft since it dictates how employees should carry themselves. Corporate culture conveys how the organization sets expectations and rewards desired behavior.
Since culture has a direct impact on recruitment, retention of employees, collaboration, and most importantly, policy compliance and communication, it will be of the greatest importance to understand the culture of the company and employee perception concerning petty theft. Therefore, the organizational culture will reflect the inherent behavior among employees and reveal deep norms that they hold towards the policies formulated. According to Lukmanjaya (2019), if the corporate culture of the organization is one steeped in non-compliance with policies and a disregard for the law or regulations, it will mean that, regardless of the policies created, these policies are likely to be unfollowed.
If the corporate culture is one that has high regard for policies and respect for company values, it will be easier to implement the anti-theft policies that may be instilled and will also create an environment that will ensure zero tolerance for theft. Since management cannot always be around to supervise and oversee employee operations, this culture will be important in reporting theft cases and ensuring proper policy compliance, which will ultimately eliminate theft incidents in the company.
Han, X. (2020). Study on the Role of Corporate Culture in Human Resource Management. Journal of Global Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(1), 13-18.
Lukmanjaya, B. (2019). The role of corporate culture as a contributor to fraud and corruption in Australia: Perceptions of forensic accountants and industry professionals (Doctoral dissertation, Queensland University of Technology).
Trigg, A. J. (2020). Small Business Owners’ Strategies to Mitigate Employee Theft (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).