When requesting a leave of absence, employers believe that employees have to be honest with their reasons for taking the day off. But the truth is, some people are willing to tell a lie in order to get the leave they wanted. Be it attending a sporting event or going to a concert, some employees choose to lie to their employers in their absence. A global survey by Kronos, for example, found that as many as 58 percent of employees call in sick on days they want to watch or attend a sports event. International competitions, like the FIFA World Cup, tend to boost employee absence rates even though 80 percent admit to feeling guilty for doing it.
Lying behaviour should not be accepted in any case. Why? Because a small, simple lie will lead to a bigger lie that could jeopardise your business in the future. While the lies might not affect the business now, the company could suffer severely in the longer term, such as follows:
HR job is not merely about recruiting, retaining, or terminating employees. Sometimes, working in an HR position will require you to have detective skills in order to keep the organisation clean from any potential risks such as liars.
Spotting a liar, however, is not an easy homework, especially if they are smarter than you – and in most cases, they do. LaRae Quy with her 24 years of being an undercover and counterintelligence FBI agent shared her advice for business leaders and everyone on how to easily spot a liar at the workplace. Here are Quy’s tips…
Come across as empathetic in conversation, and you will get the person to open up more about the “truth”. Quy advised that you should practice on ways to mirror and match another person’s behaviour. Learn to tune in with another person, pay attention to their body posture, their energy level, and their voice.
Do not make direct questions as it will only get the liar telling further lies. You should tell as if you know the whole story. Make a statement and the guilty party will make a correction.
A liar will usually play a scenario in their head and he is prepared for answering basic questions. So, surprise him by asking unexpected questions and watch for signs of anxiety or hesitation. Better yet, repeat the same question in different ways.
Truthful people tend to add details and remember facts. Liars, on the other hand, memorise the story and keep them the same. So, said Quy, ask the person to recall events backwards rather than forwards in time.
Start with empathy and give them an opportunity to confess. If they don’t, confront them. Allude to evidence in such a way that they realise you know the facts.
Liars tend to talk more than truthful people to win over their audience. They tend to use more complex sentences to hide the truth.
Quy mentioned that a liar is more likely showing deceptive behaviour such as:
When liars are in action, they tend to be a good person and throw compliments to the audiences. Thus, be wary of compliments.
Liars behaviours include: exhibiting lapses in memory at critical times, providing small crumbs of information to questions asked, moving into a more formal way of speaking and using extreme superlatives responses.
Lastly, take time to explore more questions. If the person exhibits uneasiness with a specific question, chances are, they lie about something. Commonly, employees will be uneasy to explain certain questions due to personal embarrassment that might lead to a final decision.
As an HR, ensuring a clean workplace culture and high workplace performance is a must. Therefore, when spotting a workplace liar, the easy way is to pay attention to his behaviour and conduct a personal meeting. If the liar does not show a change in his behaviour and you still find him constantly lie in the day-to-day business, termination is the best solution to save your firm from a serious problem in the future.
Read also: SPY at Work! How to Detect One?