For anyone who runs a business, some difficult decisions have to be taken as to how much you trust your own staff and in Portugal business owners tend to be very suspicious of giving too much trust in the people that work for them, just in case they try and steal the company silver for themselves. I have always believed that there is no point in worrying about trusting your own employees – choose them carefully and treat them with respect and dignity and I should have nothing to worry about, right?
Wrong! One of my employees who has been with me for several years has just plunged a dagger deep between my shoulder blades, scuttling off to set up her own business and taking one of my biggest clients with her. It shakes you up on a personal level when someone you have grown to like and respect does something like this, if only for the complete lack of integrity it shows; the more important thing to question however is the issue it raises about how my business is run. I have always felt that showing trust in the people who work for me will encourage them to give their best and also mean that I do not need to micro manage them to make sure they are not doing anything the shouldn’t. After the initial shock of having someone do the dirty on me, I am not going to change anything in the company culture, because I really don’t want to run a business where I am suspicious of my own employees. It would become an ugly atmosphere that in the end would drive down productivity.
So I am not going to let one bad apple spoil the barrel and will continue to run my business as an open book for everyone who works for me. Having an occasional incident where an employee tries to run off with a pocketful of the company treasure is just a price you have to pay for running a dynamic business where all the workforce are encouraged to take on a lot of responsibility.