How to spot and stop saboteurs in your business

When employees aren’t doing the best for your business, it's your fault

17 Sep, 18

When employees aren’t doing the best for your business, owner of MBK Design Studio Stewart Woodruff says it’s your fault.

Sabotage in your business is the worst feeling in the world. You trust someone to share the same principals and provide a service you are happy to endorse as part of your business but when you find out it’s not happening, it is probably the most upsetting feeling.

You have built your business based on reputation and it will have taken years to establish yourself in your local area, involving a lot of hard work and long hours.

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Yet, in the space of a few months and not through any of your own doing, your reputation may become tarnished. You then have to work even harder to ensure your business does not fold under this blot or blemish.

Yet whose fault is it? Unfortunately, it is yours. But how can you spot it and solve it?

Applies to all staff

While a saboteur to your business may reek of espionage, stealing secrets to sell to a competitor, that’s not the case. They aren’t trench coat-wearing, spy camera-wielding, phone tapping experts.

They are simply employees of your business, could be any member of staff, and it may not even be they purposely plan to cause detriment to your retail business.

It could be they simply want to go out on their own but are still working with you and have taken their eye off the ball. Or it could be they are using your systems and your customer database to get ahead.

But if only they understood how this type of damage affects a business, they might think differently. This challenge could be from part-time, full-time or even contracted staff.

Whatever the circumstance, it’s important you curtail their dealings with customers and suppliers, prevent them from any access to paperwork that belongs to the company, including lists of contacts and cancel any remote access they may have to your network.

Prevention is key

But how can you prevent it from happening? Well it’s difficult. The bad news is that when you employ staff or even sub-contract, there is always the potential they can harm your business as well as help build your reputation.

And it could be at any time, as a once loyal employee working hard for your business may have extenuating circumstances causing their work to slide.

But you have to take responsibility for your own business and hunt out the saboteurs. All I can advise is that you check on your projects more regularly.

Keep in touch with your clients daily to ensure work is proceeding in the way you expect. My mistake can be being too trusting. So check on everything everyone in your business does for you.

Try to get people to buy into your ethical code and get better at spotting problems before they become too big. But how can you prevent it from happening? The bad news is that you can’t. You will always suffer from staff losses – some good and some bad.

But perhaps it can form part of your 60-minute daily review of your business.

This article first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News.

How to spot and stop a saboteur to your business