A New Pair of Eyes

  1. 1. A New Pair of Eyes

Mark started his new role as a closing manager, where he had to record the daily sales, returns, tax, etc. on a worksheet. He had been instructed on how to do this earlier, but the training manager said he could look at any of the previous 30 days sheets done by other managers to use as examples. Mark looked at the previous day’s numbers which Barb had recorded and found an extremely high amount of returns that day, but no receipts for these returns were saved, which he was told is a requirement. Mark immediately thought Barb must be stealing.

What would you do? Which approach would you use, individualistic, communal or both? Explain.



A combination of both Individualistic and Communal approach would be most beneficial for “A New Pair of Eyes”

When Mark finds out that Barb issued refunds without those required receipts, he should not conclude anything immediately. There could be 4 possibilities –

  1. Barb is stealing
  2. Barb made a mistake and she would be more than willing to correct it
  3. Barb was instructed by her manager to do so
  4. Mark made a wrong assumption or did not have complete training

Keeping in mind Mark is just starting, bringing allegation to another employee who might be a long timer and with a great reputation, would not be smart. If Barb is stealing a large amount as observed by Mark, then chances are she did not start it yesterday, she should have started with smaller amount. Mark should investigate works done by Barb is past and try to find a pattern, if Barb had records of return without receipts.

I understand, Mark has his own set of “To Do” list to get to, and he cannot invest all his time in researching Barb’s work. But I would recommend investing some extra time and finding out a logical conclusion before taking this to higher management, because this might potentially dampen his own reputation.

After doing the research if Mark finds out that Barb had done this before –Mark should approach the “Training manager” and try to find out from him if there is any situation where it is possible to issue refund without receipts and inform him / her that he (Mark) has noticed that there are records by other “Closing managers” where they have issued refunds without receipts. Now there is a possibility that the “Training manager” is Barb’s reporting manager. But that should not be a matter of concern. Because Mark is trying to fix something he knows to be wrong. Mark’s training manager can determine with all the information from Mark if Barb was stealing or if she was told to do so by her supervisor or maybe she made a mistake which could be fixed.

Now it was the scenario where Mark found out multiple instances of Barb issuing refund without receipts, but there could be another possibility that he did not find any more instance. In this scenario too, Mark should approach his training manager and explain his observation and let him decide if it was one time mistake by Barb or if it is possible to issue refund without receipts or may be with supervisor approval.

So this would be my suggested individualistic approach, not concluding anything and digging deeper keeping in mind that Mark has his own work to finish. But here investing time is necessary mainly because there is a learning opportunity ( in case he finds out that refunds can be issued without receipts with supervisor approval or some other scenario) and there is a possibility to fix a problem(in case Barb was doing something wrong causing employer suffer a financial loss). And as bonus he might receive a pat on the back for doing the right thing and being through, without risking his own reputation for being hasty to conclude something that might not be accurate.

Now there is an opportunity to implement communal approach for the company leadership. If Barb was properly doing her work, Mark needed proper training, so leadership should make the training program better to avoid such confusions in future. Or under different scenario, if Barb was stealing, then the leadership should implement better review/ audit process to avoid such misconduct from employees.

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