Challenge:An established name in real estate with many thousand employees across globe got a complaint against specific employee at senior management level. The complainant specifically alleged the suspect being involved in bribery and kick-backs at various levels. The complainant had no evidence and was not even aware of suspect’s modus-operandi. Based on hearsay information, the complainant thought of highlighting it to the ethics committee. Considering the key position of the suspect and the way he brought the company to a level of achievement, the ethics committee ignored the complaint giving no merit to it. The ethics committee once again received an anonymous complaint against the same person possibly being involved in malpractices. The ethics committee and internal audit committee, both collectively decided to get the complaint investigated independently just as a formality thinking complainant would surely have some mala fide intention behind the complaint. Netrika Consulting was hired to carry out independent investigation.
Findings:It is noted the suspect employee was bringing good business to the company despite slow- down of the market. He had taken the turnover of the company for that region to new heights. The management was extremely happy with him. The investigation revealed that the suspect employee was indeed involved in not just offering bribes to bring business to the company but also keeping a huge cut for his personal benefit. The suspect was managing it so nicely that he was keeping everyone in the cycle happy. He was not just paying to clients’ employees, he was taking cut from them as well by adding sham brokers in the process as referrals. He was also a shareholder of many client companies to facilitate them. Investigation also revealed that he had adopted similar methodology in previous organization and when management came to know about it, he moved on to another company.
Solution/ Conclusion:At the end of the day, it is the business call whether to retain such an employee in the company or not. When the investigation concluded, the suspect employee got some hint about the investigation from HR. He immediately resigned from the position and got another role in another renowned real estate giant. His present company did not make any effort to retain him and let him go peacefully. However, the organization had learnt their lesson and made an effort to write in his HR file that he left the organization as was found guilty of misconduct which was missing in his previous employer’s records which caused this company to experience reputation challenge.