I started a new job yesterday as an HR Manager in a large company. While settling into my office I was going through file boxes from the previous HR guy, and tucked at the back of one discovered a hand-written journal filled with page after page of dates and incriminating information about company employees. We’re talking who slept with who (and when), who drank too much (and where), who stole money or company property, or had trouble of any kind with the law. This guy spent a lot of time documenting very nasty details of the dark side of this company’s culture; if you were in my shoes, would you return the journal to him, give it to the boss, or just burn it?
Burn it, baby, and don’t look back. And for two reasons: first, you don’t know if the information contained in the book is partly true, all true, or completely fabricated. It’s possible that it was planted in your files as a test of integrity, and others are watching to see what you’ll do with it next. Second, assuming that the contents are true, the potential for blackmail or other illegal conduct is quite high if it falls into the wrong hands.
Read it through once to see if there are any serious laws broken that you are bound to disclose to the police. Barring that, treat it like the trash it is and destroy it.
In my day job, I’m the Head of Products for Improved Experience, where we help employers use feedback to measure and manage competitive advantage in hiring and retention. Learn more about us here
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