Over the last five years, WMP Ltd, a small web development company based in Melbourne’s bustling CBD, managed to build an enviable reputation as one of the city’s leading SEO agencies. With that reputation came a spike in job applications, giving CEO, Mark Tindal access to a wide range of expertise, talent and know-how.
As the years went on, Mark managed to whittle down his staff to create the perfect work environment, with each member pulling their weight and effectively hitting their KPIs every month. However, as the team became more tightly bound, so too did Mark’s concerns that they would eventually leave. His frustration, although inwardly expressed, made him become more and more anxious everyday before he eventually found himself speaking to his staff as though they had already stabbed him in the back.
Over the next few months, the atmosphere in the office became more negative, with staff speaking less amongst themselves; leaving for lunch as the clock struck 1 and returning at 2 on the dot; dismissing themselves at precisely 5 in the afternoon and showing less and less regard for any work needing attention. As these notions became apparent to Mark, he, in turn, began becoming more “passive aggressive” towards certain members of staff, including the company’s only Google Adwords professional, Neil Coleman.
Neil had worked at WMP since it’s launch in early 2010 and had gone on to assist Mark in having his company’s, along with countless clients’ websites listed on the first page in Google’s search results. As such, he was deemed as being a highly valued employee and noticeably one of Mark’s favourites.
A few weeks ago, Mr Tindal called Precise Investigation, asking if we could provide him with a simple surveillance service; he was becoming suspicious of Neil and what he was getting up to during working hours. Usually, Mr Coleman was always at work on time and left when he was finished with his work. He was rarely sick and only took the bare minimum leave that he was entitled to… but recently he had been asking Mark to give him an hour or more a week, during the working day, so that he could attend to some “personal matters.”
Considering the worsening office environment and Mark’s continuous worry for the longevity of his business, he couldn’t help but suspect that Neil was searching for another job – something that was ultimately a breach of contract. At several points over the two weeks prior to making the call to Precise, Mr Tindal asked Neil if he had ever been interested in finding another job, along with asking his colleagues whether they had noticed anything out of the ordinary about him. Dissatisfied with the responses, Mark went on to hire us.
The job was simple: Neil would always give Mark an advanced warning about needing a little time off and so, at the next available opportunity, Mark would share that information with our allocated operative. Our agent would then follow Neil from the St. Kilda-based offices, taking notes, photographs and video footage of his activities outside the building.
And so the time came. Just four days after Mark’s initial enquiry, he called us to confirm that Neil would be leaving the office at 3pm, returning at 4:30pm the same afternoon.
Our agent pulled into a side street just a few metres from the office’s entrance at 2:45pm, with all cameras and recording equipment at the ready. From there, Neil emerged at 2:55pm and proceeded to board a tram. Keeping at a safe distance, our operative followed the tram, watching closely at each stop to ensure that Neil didn’t slip out of sight.
Just six stops later, Mr Coleman was seen exiting the tram and making his way into an office building. As he buzzed himself in, our operative was able to capture a shot of Neil pushing the button, and the corresponding details of the office he was going into. As it turned out, Neil was seeking the help of a psychologist – the reasons for which are still unknown.
After breaking the news to Mark, and providing him with the evidence of Neil’s movements, he was overcome with sadness at the fact that he had been so distrustful of both Neil and his other staff. With that, he went on to introduce a brand-new company policy that was aimed at rewarding his staff more frequently and engaging them in a number of out-of-the-office team building activities.
We share this story with you because only a few months ago we were hired to investigate a similar case, where an employer became jealous and worried about what his employees were getting up to when they left the office. He too was concerned only because of his negative imagination and the fear that he would lose everything he’d worked so hard for. In both instances, both employers were systematically destroying their own businesses from the inside out, using nothing but their own anxieties to fuel the growing negativity in the work environment.
It is with this in mind that we would like to point out that not all investigations lead to our client’s uncovering dirty secrets, lies or misconduct. In many cases, we simply help our clients to better understand their situations and go on to provide them with the peace of mind they, and the people around them, deserve.
If something is causing you to grow anxious and you’d like to know the truth about what’s really going on behind your back, regardless of whether you’re a CEO, a stay-at-home parent or just a concerned friend, Precise Investigation can help you to gather the evidence you need to put your mind at rest.
Call Precise Investigation today on 1300 856 011 for a professional private investigation service.
Precise Investigation has operatives posted across all of Australia, providing regular and highly effective private investigations to the likes of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and even the more remote reaches of the country. Should you, or someone you know ever find yourselves in a situation where a little professional help could go a long way in helping you to clarify or overcome a particular issue, then please get in touch with us today. We’re ready and available to assist you or your business twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.