Your Employees Steal From You
Who steals? Everyone. Who? Everyone? Everyone steals a little. YOU AND ME.
As Dan Ariely discovered, people want to both feel good about themselves and want to sell themselves a good story on why it's okay to cheat.
The further people are away from the cash, the more likely they are to cheat because taking money is definitively bad and wrong. So you can steal rubber gloves from the doctor to clean your car, or use the office copy machine to print your 165-page manuscript but work it out as harmless.
Remember why Charlie Bucket and Granpa Joe were surprised Willy Wonka got pissed at the end of the chocolate factory tour?
They'd reasoned that drinking the Fizzy Lifting Drink wasn't a big deal in comparison to the other children's mishaps and had completely rationalized the experience, so they assumed no harm done. Assholes.
So what's the fix?
Well, you don't have to have your employees and friends recite the ten commandments as Ariely did for their research. It turns out reminding people of their morality is an effective way to deter theft.