While most of the people we laid off were great employees who went on to find good jobs elsewhere, we were appalled to discover there were some people who had built themselves a nice, cozy position but weren’t working very hard. While most of us were pulling the wagon, they were simply riding on it. We even discovered several cases of fraud! That goes back to my point above about the importance of a crack financial team — one of their key jobs is to have strong controls in place. I would never have believed that one of my employees would do that. It can happen to any company. The longer you are in business, the more outrageous things you will have employees do on your watch!
So very true. I had a partner in a business that thought it was a great idea to hire sales people, give them brand new iBooks and pay them salary plus commission. The salary was high enough that they could screw around and not complete any sales and still make a living.
Soon the iBooks started getting "stolen" (yeah, right) and we were getting very lackluster sales. I ended up having someone trail the more suspicious sales people and found out they were simply going to music festivals, etc. instead of actually going out to do sales and they were even fabricating leads they'd claimed they'd found. There was mass firings, but the damage had already been done.
I jettisoned from the partner shortly thereafter. Lesson learned on my part to be vastly more careful with who I partner with. I later heard the same jackass tried so save some money on distribution by hiring teenagers and paying them cheap to distribute expensive publications around town. It was later discovered the kids simply threw the pubs in dumpsters and goofed off instead. If you're gonna pay people to screw you at least make them give you a reach-around.
Blind trust in new employees, etc. is a recipe for disaster. Some will act like crazed monkeys on acid and rob you blind.