What Are You Reading: “How Would You Like Your Justice Served?”

Good Reads - How Do You Like Your Justice Served

“There is often a conflict of legal and moral obligation – one to faithfully run your business, the other to generally evaluate your employee’s actions in a fair way based on the circumstances.”

…In my dealing with real life cases of employee wrongdoings over the years, two incidents particularly struck a chord, mainly because of the stark contrast in comparison and the factors at play.

One was the blatant theft of a high-end designer belt by a young retail assistant working at a historic hotel in a develop country, where luxury market is driven by young people and millennials.

The other took place at a hotel in a developing country where poverty runs high. A member of the housekeeping staff was caught swiping four oranges from the staff canteen, where food was strictly consumed within the premises.

After thorough questioning and inquiry, it came to light that the retail assistant stole for the sole purpose of showing off luxury goods (perhaps to seek a lifestyle beyond her means or for peer acceptance) while the housekeeping staff was compelled to steal due to a sense of desperation: he was struggling as a sole bread earner to make ends meet for his family for twelve.

In either case, both employees had stolen from the company and one question remained : to punish or not to punish?

Excerpted from “Nothing Surprise Me, I work in HR : A Personal Journey” by Tommy Ng, Asia’s leading HR Advisor, Entrepreneur & Author.

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This article is part of a series of accounts of The Chief Guru Chronicles, a column which recounts our Founder & Chief Guru Tommy Ng’s experience and encounters in HR management across various countries and industries. The purpose of this column is to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed, and to educate readers through challenges experienced. It should not be perceived and used as a professional advice. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, races, ethnic group, organisation, company, individual or country. In addition, we do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of the information. As a disclosure, some names, information and situations were intentionally concealed or edited in order to protect the identity of the involved parties. Except as expressly consented, the contents may not be reproduced, transmitted, or distributed without HR Guru Pte Ltd permission.

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