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Red Flags Employers Should Know about Rogue Employees

03.03.15

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A recent Infoworld story included 7 Red Flags about employees regarding “someone you admired, trusted, and invested yourself in ends up embezzling from the company, illegally accessing private emails, or using customer credit card data to buy computer equipment for their home, your incorrectly placed trust in that person will haunt you.” The March 2, 2015 story entitled “7 warning signs an employee has gone rogue” including “Red flag No. 6: Never takes vacation” which should be a dead give-away given these comments:

I once worked with a woman who had been at the company for more than four decades. She was a hard worker, loved by everyone, although a bit cranky at times. She also never took a vacation, even when threatened. I was her boss for five years. At every annual review I would note that she didn’t take a vacation and I would cajole her to take one. She would say something nice or funny in response and say she would soon. But the next year would roll around and still no vacation.

The third year I threatened to fire her if she wouldn’t take a vacation. I even marked down her review score and reduced her bonus. Still she did not take a vacation, but I couldn’t follow through with the threat. She had been with the company so long, and I had a soft spot for her, as everyone did.

In the fifth year we forced her to take a week’s vacation. Lo and behold she continued to show up during the week to “see how things were going” in her absence. I physically had to escort her off the premises. I was truly worried about her health given how much she worked.

Then the checks started to arrive — it turned out she was getting kickback checks from all sorts of telco-related companies for more than 20 years. She had also given her son a job doing telco in the company, one for which he never showed up, and the company was paying for both their cars. In total, she had stolen more than half a million dollars over the course of 20 years.

Here is the entire list of Red Flags:

Red flag No. 1: Unexpectedly fails background check

Red flag No. 2: Says past employers didn’t trust them

Red flag No. 3: Knows information they shouldn’t

Red flag No. 4: Says they can hack a coworker or company systems

Red flag No. 5: Switches screens away from company assets as you walk up

Red flag No. 6: Never takes vacation

Red flag No. 7: Leaves the company angry

Obviously all employers should be alert to rogue employees and this list should be self-apparent!

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