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Who’s Eating the 2 Lunches?

November 8th, 2011

In our global economy we put a great deal of trust and responsibility in the hands of our representatives and have to assume that they have the best interest of the organization in mind and are continuously moving in a positive direction when nobody is looking.  It’s these people we count on to grow the business and maintain previous relationships with the clients and accounts that have chosen to put their trust in the product or service we provided.

Recently, we investigated a case within the workplace involving an individual who was not producing in terms of outside sales nor did he show much in the way of motivation or drive.  Now for the most part, we would assume that their performance is going to directly affect their wage in the way of commission and that in itself is all the motivation needed; but in this particular case the commission had no time line and once a customer was gained, the representative would receive that commission for the life of that account.  In most cases this would drive the sales representative as long as the day would allow and provide the mindset of early retirement and sailing off into the sunset.  This particular organization had believed that based on this employee’s numbers that he had basically done nothing for the past couple of years and in fact had spoken with him on a couple occasions informing him of their concern.  They had even given him a fairly substantial lead to secure a hefty account which he in fact did; leading him to further income and once again proving his ability and potential. This particular employee was in his late 50’s and had been with the company for quite some time; however, because of their commission for life policy, he had lost his motivation and got comfortable in his relaxed work ethic.

We were contacted to conduct surveillance on the aforementioned employee as the non production had gone on too long and was becoming much too obvious.  This surveillance was not conducted to catch the individual being non productive but rather to see what the issue was and correct it.  It was the hope of the client that perhaps we would witness the subject attending several meetings in his region which could potentially narrow the issue down to something as simple as him not closing the deal with the remedy being further (updated) sales training perhaps; this unfortunately was not the case.  The first day we began surveillance we witnessed the subject depart his house at approximately 8:15am wearing shorts and a golf shirt with his children in tow as he drove them to school.  He then returned to his residence where he disappeared for approximately 3 hours.  This is completely acceptable as we can only assume he was making phone calls and booking meetings with potential clients. Surely we would see him reappear in his business attire and head for one of these meetings soon; again not the case.  He reappeared and got into his vehicle wearing the same shorts and golf shirt with a gym bag in hand.  We then witnessed him attend the gym for an almost 2 hour workout.  After he completed his workout, he attended the local diner where he ordered two meals; taking the one to go and clearly in no rush for time.  He then returned to his children’s school to pick them up and once again returned back home.  Now most would say that is perfectly acceptable behaviour, for a man on vacation!?  The unfortunate part was that after a week of surveillance the same pattern existed, other than the golf course on a couple occasions (with non clients – confirmed by the photos).  The double lunches continued as well. The funny part; both lunches were submitted as expenses as though he had been dining a client.  Throughout the entire investigation (5 days), he attended one organization for approximately 5 minutes (clearly not a meeting) proving what the client had feared for some time and verifying the assumed work ethic of the subject.

In this case, the information provided by surveillance saved the company a great deal of money and time.  Now that they have received proof of the subject’s work ethic, there are several routes they can take in terms of the next steps but the important fact is that the organization once again has gained control.

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