Employer employee relationships are very important in the development of organizations and companies. While it is deemed necessary for an employer to ensure the welfare of their employees by paying them their salaries on time, providing safe and good working conditions, employees also have the responsibility of performing their duties with competence and honesty. Attention is always paid to instances where employers fail to ensure the needs of their employees, however less focus is placed on the attitudes of employees in organizations.
There have been several instances in Ghana where employees have embarked on demonstrations and strikes due to the inability of their employers to attend to their needs. This is very common in Ghana and anytime issues like this happen, people especially on social media, mostly jump to the defense of the employees without considering the conduct of these employees in companies. This is also not to say that employers should not be pressured to provide the needs of their employees. Of course they have to provide such needs , but while we ensure they do, let’s also look at the side of the employees and ensure that they also also put up the best conduct while performing their duties.
Concerns have been raised by business owners about the behavior of workers over the years. Most notable of such concerns is employee theft popularly known as “chobo”. The intention by some to make extra money from their workplaces through “chobo” is alarming. Taking or misusing an employer's assets, especially cash without their permission is a form of stealing disguised under this name “chobo”. Gaining “chobo” has now become very common among some Ghanaian workers and even beyond the working sector.
People hired into companies seem to be on a mission to steal as much as possible disregarding the fact that they are paid for whatever work they are doing for their employers. Some of them see it as an opportunity to enrich themselves through stealing. In some situations the fraudulent act is not carried out by just a member of a company. Sometimes many staff come together, from production to top management to steal from the company. This act is not limited to just big companies, even small provision shop owners and other small business owners experience this from their workers.
It does not matter the kind of business a company is involved in, or the size of the company, some employees always find a way to steal. Bus conductors “trotro mates” are stealing from their drivers, people are stealing cash from workplaces, people are recording less units of goods produced, shop attendants are consuming provisions without paying for them, workers in restaurants are stealing food and ingredients from kitchens to their homes , bank staff are stealing from employers and customers among other thefts.
A report prepared by the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Ghana stated that in 2018, more than 2,170 cases of fraud were reported out of which 1,239 cases were committed by banks’ staff in the form of suppressing cash or deposits from customers.
There is no justification for stealing from an employer’s company. Whether it is referred to as “chobo” or not, it still remains an act of stealing hence a criminal act. Why should an employee who has been given an opportunity to work in a company steal from the company? Some of these workers justify their acts with explanations such as the boss not being a good person, the salary not being enough and the working conditions not good. But all these explanations do not in any way justify the act of stealing. As a worker, one have the right to demand for better working conditions which one should, instead of hiding behind the excuse of poor working conditions to steal. The problem really is that most employees nowadays are not trustworthy. They go into these companies with an already set agenda in mind to make extra money aside their salaries and this is going a long way to affect the economy of the country.
What these workers do not seem to pay attention to is the fact that the effect of this stealing or the normalization of “chobo”, will not only be on the employer but on the employee as well as the economic system of Ghana. On the side of the employer, lost is incurred instead of profits and some companies are brought down due to loss. The funny part of this all is that workers who steal from these companies usually have the intention of starting their own business when they make enough money. When they succeed and are able to establish their own companies, they hire people who in turn steal from them also since everyone is on a “CHOBO” mission. Some people especially the very wealthy ones capable of establishing companies in Ghana may not do so because of lack of trust among employees in Ghana. There are even companies that employ the services of foreigners leaving citizens unemployed due to lack of trust. This affects the economic growth of the country.
That being said it is important to also acknowledge that not all employees are into stealing. There are some who are honest and trustworthy however the activities of those who engage in these acts still leaves an impression that will affect everyone. People must be trustworthy and employ good morals in their line of duties. We should desist from the intention of getting “chobo” from our workplaces because it causes harm not to only the employers but to the country as a whole.
By: Saeed Fridaus