THE DECEPTIVE MOVE
Many years ago, my wife and I used to run a cleaning service, okay, actually it was my wife’s cleaning service, but I provided some level of support, and what’s mine is hers – it was ours.
One day, a member of our team tried to divert jobs for herself, thinking she could handle them better. But we had established systems that ensured clear communication between our clients and the company, not just any individual.
When we discovered this, it stung.
Betrayal and distrust can pain, ehn.
At that time, our team was small, just my wife, a few others, and myself. But this experience laid the foundation for many of my business operations to this day.
TAKING CONTROL AND AND COMMUNICATION WITH CLIENTS
So, what did we do? First, we spoke to our clients formally, reminding them of our clear business channels. We informed them that if they engaged with any staff member directly, not as our employee but as an independent individual, any transactions would be solely between them and that staff member.
We made a clear distinction because when you do business with us, you get an official receipt.
This brought to light a common situation. Some customers want things cheaper and may try to engage with our staff directly. But we reminded them that we don’t operate that way.
HR STEPS, SYSTEMS REVIEW & REDEMPTION
After This, our HR processes kicked in.
The employee received a formal query, outlining the policy breach and how engaging in competing businesses wasn’t allowed. After responding, she received a stern warning letter, highlighting the consequences of her actions.
This was her final warning, a strong message.
We also reviewed our systems, finding and fixing communication gaps that allowed this to happen. Instead of terminating her, we invested in her growth.
She received leadership training and more responsibilities. She knew we were closely monitoring her, and her performance improved.
In the end, we didn’t hold her mistake against her.
We held her to a high standard of accountability, and she became one of our best employees.