If companies can profitably outsource their work to employees in other countries, can enterprising employees do the same thing?
Anchorage, AK (PRWEB) February 13, 2013
Lynne Curry, Ph.D. (CEO of The Growth Company, Inc.) has over 30 years of HR management experience and has witnessed plenty of horrific scams in companies. Today she reacts to the recent case regarding a man that outsourced his work to China for a small fee while collecting his rather large salary.
Lynne asks, “If companies can profitably outsource their work to employees in other countries, can enterprising employees do the same thing?”
Apparently yes – at least until they’re caught.
Last month, Verizon published a 2012 case study describing how an employee (Dr. Curry calls him “Sam”), while working for a U.S.-based infrastructure company, outsourced his responsibilities to a Chinese firm, giving them less than one-fifth of his six-figure salary for their efforts. He was finally discovered and was let go. (As reported by Alana Semuels in her article, “Man reportedly outsources his own job to China, watches cat videos” on the “Los Angeles Times” website, on January 17, 2013).
Dr. Curry asks, “Was firing the best answer?” “While this employee was paid his full salary to perform work, he wasn’t,” notes Deloitte’s Senior Manager of Employee Relations Michele Sommer. “He simply forwarded his job to a contractor, essentially eliminating his position. After learning this, his employer needs to decide if they can trust this employee and if he can still add value to their operation. If his employer has a policy against being accessed from outside the U.S., they need to address his policy breach.”
Further -- and despite Sam’s amazing delegation skills -- lawyer Brit Weimer views Sam’s actions as fraud. According to Weimer, “Employee dishonesty is a form of insubordination. Employers cannot and should not tolerate unauthorized delegation concealed from one’s employer by a smokescreen of lies.”
Additionally, Weimer notes, Sam exposed his company to risk. “By not running his work through regular channels, Sam deprived his supervisors of the ability to negotiate confidentiality agreements with their ‘hidden’ vendors, and thus to protect the company’s intellectual property and trade secrets.”
What should Sam have done? Dr. Curry says, “As a highly compensated professional employee, Sam was expected to be innovative in delivering benefits to his employer. Sam could have presented his actions to his managers as an ingenious way to save the company money – and probably netted a promotion for his efforts. He would have had the additional reward of knowing he conducted himself in a clean, above-board manner.”
Dr. Curry continues, saying, “Alternatively, Sam could have left his company and started his own – and potentially turned it into a Fortune 500 success story.”
“Meanwhile,” adds Dr. Curry, “we’re left wondering – where was Sam’s supervisor and how is his company handling his lack of true oversight? And who are these Chinese contractors and are they available?”
Dr. Lynne Curry is a management/employee trainer and owner of the consulting firm The Growth Company Inc. Send your questions to her at lynne(at)thegrowthcompany(dot)com You can follow Lynne on Twitter @lynnecurry10 or through http://www.workplacecoachblog.com
© Lynne Curry, January 2013, http://www.thegrowthcompany.com