… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Guilty Minds

You know, you do Employee Relations long enough, you start seeing patterns of behavior emerge. One thing I’ve started to notice is specific behaviors that keep popping up when dealing with employees who have done something wrong and know it. Symptoms of a guilty mind, you might say.

So, what are these behaviors, you might be asking yourself? Well, here you go:

1. Denying guilt but promptly quitting. It’s the whole, why-are-you-running-away-if-you-aren’t-guilty kind of thing. I know guilt isn’t the only reason someone might quit as soon as their manager asks them to write a statement, but you have to admit it’s very suspicious. Funny how I only get this behavior from the employees we can prove did something bad.

2. Calling in an unfair job action before the investigation has finished. Many red flags go up when I see an employee start saying they were fired unfairly, even before they were fired. They know they were wrong, they know it will be found out, and they are already switching to plan B.

3. Refusing to put anything in writing or make a statement. It’s the “you can’t use someone’s words against them if they never talk to you” kind of mindset. It’s funny how many employees simply refuse to write their statement down. It’s so much easier to change it that way, after all. At least most are still willing to talk to me, after I tell them that I’ll make a recommendation with or without it, that is.

4. “I don’t remember”.
The old fall back for the guilty, if they “can’t remember” what happened, they can’t be forced to commit to a story, and they can’t be caught in a lie. Doesn’t matter if you are asking about something that happened two weeks or two days ago.

5. Unsuccessful and inconsistent lies. Often, I will see an employee lie about one part of a situation but tell the truth for the other part. They admit they were late, but minimize how late they were. They admit they misused their discount, but it was for their “common law spouse”. And so on and so forth. Funny enough, this strategy more often backfires than not because they don’t know what they should be lying about. I’ve covered why you shouldn’t lie before.

Here’s the moral of the story: You are not as smart as you think you are if you make it to the point where I’m getting involved, so just stop it. Stop it right now.

2 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 humanresourcespufnstuf :

    I get the SODDI defense a lot (some other dude did it). Even when we bust someone on video, their first response is “that ain’t me”. Look if your busted your busted, quit fighting it.

  • 2 HR Minion :

    HR pufnstuf – I don’t get that one a lot but yeah, busted is busted. 🙂