How are you keeping employees from stealing? Working for cash - not reporting it.

Discussion in 'the CleAn Room' started by jcooper, Dec 23, 2017.

By jcooper on Dec 23, 2017 at 9:02 PM
  1. jcooper
    jcooper

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    Cleaned for some wonderful "gray hairs" a few weeks ago. Super nice people, happy to work for them. Start blabbing away with the fellow and he informs me how he didn't like the last "large(but not the largest)" franchise they had out for the cleaning.

    Guys cleaned the upstairs, like the invoice said. Cleaned the downstairs, deodorized & protected for cash. Custy didn't like this, but still took the deal and I don't blame him.

    As someone hopeful of getting an employee(not family) someday, I found this very disappointing...

    Hard and expensive enough to get the work and these guys are stealing for the boss, his family, the biz, etc.



    Other than after cleaning calls how would an owner/boss even know? What are you doing to stop theft?


    Have a great Christmas, fellas(and ladies)...
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Comments

Discussion in 'the CleAn Room' started by jcooper, Dec 23, 2017.

    1. WillS
      WillS

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      This is a good thread. I've had it happen to me with one of the guys before. Was gone over Thanksgiving break in 2016 and had a customer call and complain about a cleaning. I'm sure the tech sped through it because it was a last minute add on the day before Thanksgiving. When I said I see the invoice complete for 3 rooms total with urine extraction. $200. She says no I added on 2 additional rooms with urine and paid cash $335.

      Ok, well when I checked the deposits, only $200 was deposited from that job. I asked if she added on any rooms, and he told me he did all the rooms because she said it was only $200 she was supposed to be charged. The tech was lying and was gone the next day. It hurts having to let someone go so quickly without having a back up, but stealing is no bull shit for small bushiness. We even had his gift cards(their bonus) ready to give to him on Dec 1st. He really fu...ked up for $135.
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    2. Hoody
      Hoody

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      That is exactly what happened to me. Set up a purchasing agreement for 80% of the company with a local guy after I moved back. He had a bunch of equipment half working and cleaned for a few local small property managers for extra cash when his factory job shut down for 8 weeks in the summer. His wife ran the phones and jansan part of the apartment turn over. I was able to get enough parts around between what he had to get 1 reliable machine going(butler), sold a Bane he had to a local competitor who exclusively uses them. Took the cash and went and bought a Legend from a guy over by Chris and Stephanie who originally bought it from you Jim.

      Anyways, I reached out to some of my old prop. manager contacts, gave them a price list, and we had another 64k in work between the carpet cleaning and jansan part of turnover. Long story short, I didn't pay attention to the books because I was too busy out hustling, doing the work, and paying myself a small hourly wage to keep the money in the company. We had wages to pay for the jansan crew of about 25 people and supplies as well. Went to buy a water claw online because the bottom level of the one apartment complex always had water come in when it rained hard in the summer and the company card got declined. Logged into the bank account and found out the wife bought new tires for her Yukon and an 8k living room suite on the company card. Originally I made them sign a contract drafted by a local business attorney and ended up suing them. They had two choices, a lump sum or monthly payments(which cost them more). The guy made a comment similar to, "Whatever, we've got your apartment contacts so you're screwed." When they all found out I wasn't a part of the company anymore they jumped ship and went with someone else no matter how low they guy gave his bid.

      I got lucky with the contract but as you've stated Jim, most people don't get that lucky. Still a hard lesson learned but I took what they were paying me and put it into what I'm doing now and it let me limp along while I went to school too.
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    3. Brian H
      Brian H

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      I have lots of stories about employees and office staff who think they know how to steal from the company and get away with it. Some do get away with it for a while, but sooner or later they all get caught (I think).

      When I started here in 1990, we had a loose policy that you got a 2nd chance if caught stealing. I quickly changed that because in my mind it was a license to steal until you got caught, once that happened, then you couldn't steal anymore. We have a zero tolerance for stealing, even when it is a "family" member.

      Some examples:

      • Cashier taking payment for rug cleaning and reducing the amount of the invoice after the customer left. The daughter of one of office manager.
      • Doing a cash job and changing the invoice (and log sheet and "cash turned in" sheet using different colored ink). 17 year employee whose mother and brother-in-law worked for us.
      • Cleaning furniture on the side and doing a really poor job, enough that the customer called to complain. She knew the work was done on the side but was not happy with the results. 18 year employee and the brother-in-law of the one above.
      • Having customers call in and cancel while the crew is there doing the cleaning. We finally found it when we noticed this crew had a higher then average cancellation rate, so we started monitoring and drove by the job, witnessed him cleaning and fired him when he turned in the day's work showing the job cancelled. 20 year employee and his son still works for us.
      • Customer called into complain that the carpet the crew did in the side browned out and they couldn't correct it. She knew the crew did it on the side but felt we should be responsible because we sent the crew to her home. 3rd generation family member. His grandmother, grandfather, father, brother and sister had all worked for us. His dad still works for us. That incident devastated him.
    4. Jim Pemberton
      Jim Pemberton

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      Thanks for sharing these details Brian.

      The hardest lessons are those that involve family and close friends. Its heartbreaking, and often in the end costs everyone more than the services and cash stolen.

      When I was a young man, a wise old man (in retrospect, I think he was 40...but old to me then) told me this:

      "Jim, your friends will screw you after your relatives are done with you"

      He was a cynical alcoholic on this third wife, but sadly some of it rings true when we share these stories.
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    5. Cleanworks
      Cleanworks

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      Some times you have to think about not putting temptation in the way. Never let an employee take a truck home. Follow up every job with a phone call. Track vehicles with gps.
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    6. Mikey P
      Mikey P

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      Or hire good humans and don't be a dick.
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    7. Jim Pemberton
      Jim Pemberton

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      Agreed. There is a lot to be said about being the kind of leader people like and wouldn't want to let down.

      But, I'm sad to say, if "being a dick" means carefully monitoring employee behaviors and trusting people as far as you can throw them, I'm on board with that.
    8. Mikey P
      Mikey P

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      Depressing.
    9. hogjowl
      hogjowl

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      Is 50% of that useful? :shifty:
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    10. Brian H
      Brian H

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      Trust but verify!!
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    11. jcooper
      jcooper

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      To someone knowing they need to get off the truck at some point, employee theft is definitely surprising and disappointing.

      Would those of you who have encountered employee theft blame it on - employee feeling underpaid(even if paid well) or just screwed up kleptos ?



      Some of that stuff you couldn't make up! Unreal.
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    12. cleanking
      cleanking

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      We track all of our company vehicles with GPS and everyone knows we use it everyday to check on progress throughout the day.
      All of our customers (in-plant rug cleaning and on-location) get follow-up phone calls to check on how the job went.
      In 10 yrs of being in business there has only been 1 guy that got caught, did some extra work for a $50 CHECK made out to his name. We did our usual follow-up call and the customer explained how she thought it was weird HE ASKED for cash for part of the work, but she didn't know any better and obliged. 22yr old kid had been with us a year and was doing a great job, we had stuck our neck out for him when he had car trouble (loaned him a company truck for over 2 months) and helped him get, move into, and furnish his first apartment. He came from a rough family.
      We let him go that day we spoke with the client, it was a really hard thing to do, it was less about the $50 and more on principle.
      You won't catch it all the time, but I agree with others here, eventually that stuff will catch up with you and you'll get caught.
    13. Jim Pemberton
      Jim Pemberton

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      There are a number of social and values issues here that could be discussed from political podiums and religious pulpits.

      In our own experience in our business, it came down to these factors:

      1. Spending Habits: People too readily buy things without thinking of the consequences until they are out of money with bills to pay. Its easier to "do cash work" than rob a bank or a home, and people don't realize that the acts are equally immoral and illegal.

      2. Gambling Habits: I have seen gambling addiction ruin people's lives nearly as badly as drugs and alcohol.

      3. Drug Addiction: Its nearly impossible to manage drug addiction costs without theft.

      4. Doting parents: Just because an employee themselves are "addiction free", understand that some have children who are a mess, and they need money to take care of, bail out, or actually buy the drugs for them. Many parents set aside otherwise impeccable scruples if they feel they have a child that they have to save.
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    14. The Great Oz
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      For on-location cleaning and delivery we keep an eye on time versus scheduled workload for the day. We talk to our guys about some of the ways we check on them during the training process, and ask about discrepancies as soon as we see them.

      GPS and sensors that show the unit running work well too, as long as the GPS is attached to the truck. A friend said he tracked his techs through their tablets until he caught a guy leaving his tablet in the bushes on a real job site while doing a side job, then found out that 7 of his 10 employees were doing side work using his equipment. He said it was pretty hard getting the upcoming work done with only three techs.

      Far more common is cheating on time. Guys don't seem to equate that with stealing from the company.
    15. Brian H
      Brian H

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      In my experience, it has also been that they don't equate that to stealing and look at as more of and entitlement. Since they are doing the physical work, they somehow justify it as being okay. In all the cases I referenced above, the stolen money did not go to pay for basic needs, it just funded a more lavish lifestyle.
    16. AJR
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      GPS and set production rates. We expect $100 per man hour on job site. We run a spread sheet with this info daily. Pay increases are based on meeting the production quota. Selling protector helps meet the quota. I have run residential routes myself and hard to hit that quota all the time without selling protector.

      Also let your employees know your trucks have gps. I sometimes tell them I couldn’t get them on phone and when I do get with them I say I saw they where a while longer than expected on a stop and ask if they ran into trouble.

      If they know you are paying attention to the work they may think twice before trying anything.
    17. Gold Star Cleaning
      Gold Star Cleaning

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      Switch to online bill pay through your CRM. That way they just pay you with card for shown itemized services eliminating cash and check. Also, instill in your employees from the start that your team does a 3 day follow up call back on the services rendered. If you do this you will find out quickly from the custy what additional services they performed and they will tell you with ease with many thanks. Notifying your employees of this will place a sort of watchful eye over them, should they try to up sale without notification first.
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