A job candidate was asked that question at an interview last week. “I’d report it to my supervisor,” answered the job hunter. The interviewer said she liked her answer very much.
The answer given by the job candidate mentioned above—“I’d report it to my supervisor”—would have been an especially good response if the interviewer had phased the question this way: “What would you do if you saw a fellow worker stealing?” In this case you could follow up your answer, “I’d report it to my boss,” by asking your interviewer if there was a theft problem here.
There are instances when you don’t have to report a wrongdoing
Let’s suppose a colleague in customer service made a tactical mistake in failing to give the customer a proper referral. You might be labeled a snitch if you turned in your colleague rather than suggesting how his performance can be improved. He’d appreciate your help. And so would your boss because you’ve helped to make her job easier.
Now let’s pretend you actually witnessed a fellow worker stealing. You’d have no other choice than to turn in the deadbeat. Not only did that employee steal from the company but the crook might also steal from you and your colleagues someday.
Staying with the example of the above scam artist, it would NOT be in your best interest to report the theft to your boss if you feared retaliation from the offender. In that case you’d have another choice. It would be to play it safe by going home and writing an anonymous letter to higher ups at the company to explain the theft you witnessed
How to decide whether or not to report a colleague to the boss
Ask yourself if the violation you witnessed was just a simple mistake, against the law, or a willful act against company policy. You can choose to help out a fellow worker who makes a simple mistake. But if the wrongdoing was dishonest you have no other choice than to report the incident.
RANDY PLACE is the author of “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach: how to find a job and manage your career while coping with the hassles of it all.”
Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place