Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal?
By Peter Goldmann President, FraudAware Hospitality | October 28, 2008
"Ethics" means doing the right thing every day - even when no one is watching. So you think you're ethical? If you own the company, do you run personal expenses through the company? If you're an executive, do you turn in padded expense reports?
If you do, these thefts will inevitably become common knowledge among all of your employees. And employees take their cues about what's acceptable behavior, and what's not, from those above them.
According to Gary Zeune, CPA, a prominent anti-fraud trainer, "very few companies actually live by an executive-led standard of behavior that infuses the organization with a culture of integrity." Zeune further explains that, "unfortunately, many organizations assume they can rely on employees' 'common sense' about what is fair and ethical business behavior. Or - worse - they tolerate an 'everybody does it' attitude among employees."
"It" of courses refers to such common acts as padding expense report ... skimming a few dollars from a restaurant or gift shop register... comping rooms or services in exchange for bribes or kickbacks... disbursing checks to phony food or beverage vendors, etc.
Zeune's important lesson to all is that leaving it up to each employee to decide what's right or wrong in performing his or her job promotes an environment of self-interest in which fraud is almost certain to flourish.
"LEADING" BY UNETHICAL EXAMPLE