As an employer, you certainly hope that your employees are enterprising, innovative people determined to get results as efficiently as possible. But we’re willing to bet you didn’t have something like this in mind:
Verizon recently published a case study describing an employee for a U.S.-based infrastructure company who outsourced his responsibilities to a Chinese firm, giving them about 20% of his six-figure salary for their efforts. The scheme worked so well that he started picking up freelance jobs on the side, farming those out as well. In all he’s estimated to have made $200,000 a year (after paying his contractors) for sitting around — using his free time to play around on Facebook and Reddit — while someone on the other side of the world did his job for him.
And lest you think someone noticed his shoddy work, his performance reviews were exemplary, highlighting in particular that his assignments were always pristine and on time. In fact, in one instance he was called the best developer at the company!
Ultimately the jig was up for this enterprising employee when the company uncovered someone accessing their materials from somewhere in China, whereupon he was fired.
On the one hand, the company was absolutely justified in firing him. His actions were deceptive and constituted a serious security breach. But on the other hand, the employee managed to turn in stellar results by thinking outside the box and delegating tasks to other skilled people. Stripped of any context, aren’t those exactly the kind of traits you look for in a manager?
This question sparked quite a debate in our office. So we want to know what you think: If you were in charge of an employee like this, would you fire him or promote him? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
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