Your organization is researching on a particular subject and this has been coded for years. A competitive company has been trying to find out the result of what your organization has been working on before it is published and then you heard one of your trusted and valued employee who is married is having an affair with one of the top members of the staff of the competitive company.
Disloyalty is one of the biggest security threats any company or organization can face. Its consequences may be huge or almost insignificant. Every employer needs trusted people around him. Misconduct that stems from disloyalty can affect not just the employer but also the entire organization. A disgruntled but extremely skillful employee who complained privately about the policies of the company and badmouths the organization could first be warned before firing is considered. His action could affect others by dampening their morale or motivation to work. Nipping such in the bud before it spread is very crucial.
Dealing with Disloyalty
An act of disloyalty is enough to fire an employee but there are instances whereby the way to treat it is by bringing the employee’s attention to his action, warning him instead of an outright sack. While some acts of disloyalty are evidently in complete disregard for authority, deliberately going against the policy of the organization and betrayal of trust, some other actions are minor and birthed out of sheer ignorance on the part of the employee. The latter are the types to address.
Curbing It Early
An employer needs to address actions that serve as signs of future disloyalty. He needs to also take some drastic steps regarding a worker who has a tendency to be disloyal but has not openly shown this. Though a disloyal employee would be finally let off, sometimes, it pays to just begin by issuing a warning first. This could be done via email by the Human Resources Manager or a superior.
The Sensitive Aspect
Be careful not to victimize a falsely accused loyal employee. Investigate every accusation or suspicion thoroughly before confronting any employee. If you wrongly accuse a truly loyal employee, who clearly has done nothing wrong, there is likelihood you will tilt him to reduce his commitment, leave the company, or the worst case scenario, become disloyal! The onus lies on you to be patient and thorough before making any move.
Tips on How to Issue an Initial Warning via Email
Here are some vital tips how to draft an email warning a disloyal employee.
Yes. This will in no way rob you of your position, authority or dignity. The idea is that it is what is expected of someone in your position. You cannot afford to allow disloyalty to make you belittle yourself by stooping rather low. Therefore, be polite; let your email open with a hearty greeting.
Let the disloyal employee know what you are talking about with all clarity. Come out plain. He should see his disloyal actions for what they are; acts of disloyalty. Of course, the evidence you will present in your email should be verifiable, so that he would have little or nothing to say as a defense.
Since you are not omniscience, you could wrong. Therefore, give the employee the benefit of the doubt in your email. For instance, you may say:
…I saw in your official flash drive a document containing the names of five key clients with their bank details. This leaves one with little doubt that the report of you having secret transactions in the company’s name is true. You are aware that keeping such details in a device is against the company’s policy. However, I am willing to hear any explanations you have…
The company’s (and indeed your) stance on disloyalty should be stated with firmness. Tell him the consequences his actions would have in the future if he continues in them. Let him know all acts of disloyalty will be dealt the same way, that is, according to the stipulated company policy.
Get a Commitment
Ask him if he is truly committed to working with the organization. Demand a clear response from him showing that he is still committed to the organization. This is where the dice are cast. Do not hesitate to disengage an employee that does not send a prompt response to this question, except you can verify that he either did not see the email or was completely unable to respond.
Schedule a Meeting
This is particularly important if the disloyal employee is a senior person in the organization. Fix a meeting time and place, and discuss what you have sent as an email in person with the employee. How to go about dealing with the different scenarios that may emerge from the meeting is beyond the scope of this article. However, do not hesitate to fire any disloyal employee that becomes confrontational when the issue of his disloyalty is presented to him. Such a person has advanced from ‘simple’ disloyalty to outright rebellion. Rebellion will eventually have a serious negative impact on the company.
Sample Email 1: How to Respond to a Disloyal Employee via Email
Hope you are doing well?
Over the past few weeks, the management has noticed some of your actions that are against the company’s policy and are not in line with what we stand for at Braithwaite & Sons.
You signed a number of checks without proper authorization. The fact that they were properly recorded does not excuse the fact that you went against your supervisor’s previous warnings, which were in line with the company’s policy.
Please desist from such actions immediately. You have already breached your employment contract. Persisting in these actions will mean severance of your contract.
We need a response from you showing that you will comply with all the laid down rules of the company henceforth.
Assistant Chief Executive Officer
Sample Email 2: How to Respond to a Disloyal Employee via Email
Hope your day has been good?
It was brought to my notice that properties belonging to the organization and of sensitive nature are being used for your personal purpose. This organization does not encourage actions that put its interests in jeopardy.
Three of your colleagues at different times reported seeing you leave the office with the desktop printer. The reason for this was not communicated to them or to anyone else. Every worker should desist from such actions as it could lead to disciplinary measures being meted out.
Every item belonging to the company should be left within the premises during and after office hours. This will ensure their proper handling and safety.
It is important you show your commitment to the company by replying this email pledging your compliance to my directive.
Edited by Kelechi Duru