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How Do You Handle Lying Employees?

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Managing a work environment is no simple task for HR. But, it’s a reasonable assumption that most seasoned HR professionals and managers have heard every complaint, dispute, personal problem, sick excuse, theft issue and quite possibly more from employees. And let’s face it, HR compliance can be challenging. So, how do you handle lying employees?

While these are all sensitive issues in a work environment, how can you tell if an employee is not telling the truth to reap inner-office sympathy, a day or two off work, or some of a company’s policy benefits, including lying about having COVID-19? Short of being a mind reader, there are ways to detect if an employee is lying. For example, an article published at Experity revealed some unique indicators that may end up showing the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  

Reading Body Language

Reading body language is an interesting one. When a “suspected” employee is questioned about a particular situation, they may exhibit specific defensive or protective body language. This body language may include covering their mouth with their hands, avoiding eye contact, excessive fidgeting, or shifting their body away from the questioner.

Understanding Timelines

Resorting to a timeline of events is an effective method. While it depends on the situation, many issues or concerns may include some timeline. Guilty employees can get confused and lured into the truth if they explain times and dates out of order, are evasive about crucial details, or have “a blank look” when asked about certain moments.

Change of Voice

Lying can be stressful, even among the best of them. Stress can cause the vocal cords to constrict, a lying employee’s voice may crack, have a higher or lower pitch or they may start clearing their throat.

Although HR professionals are not expected to have the training of an interrogator for the FBI to maintain HR compliance, rest assured, they don’t need to. However, it is essential not to be naive and clearly understand some of these signs. In the end, setting an example and implementing the consequences will only provide for a more secure and honest work environment while helping maintain company HR compliance.

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