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Selling Avon Products at work?

What is the proper way to remedy a situation in which an employee is selling Avon Products at work?

There are two ways to address this issue: you can prohibit the selling outright, or you can address it as a performance issue.

Most companies have a policy that would prevent an employee from conducting another business on company time or property. Selling Avon (or Tupperware, or vitamins, or anything else) on your premises would violate this policy. If you do not have such a rule, you may want to introduce one. You should then inform the employee that what she is doing violates company policy. If she continues, you can issue written reprimands and eventually fire her.

Be aware, however, that a policy against selling items at work would also prohibit parents from bringing items form their childrens school to sell, such as Girl Scout cookies, candy, wrapping paper, magazines, etc. Such fundraisers are very popular. If you wish to allow them, you can ban for-profit selling but permit sales that benefit a charity. (You may want to ban all sales. Coworkers can feel pressured to buy unwanted items, especially when it is the boss who sells them.  Just be aware that if you implement this policy, you will be viewed as a Grinch.)

You could also ignore the selling, and simply focus on the performance issue. If you choose this route, the Avon lady could leave the booklet in the break room, for coworkers to look through when they are off the clock. However, any employee (vendor or customer) who engaged in this activity while on the clock would be disciplined. This tactic seems more fair to many employees, but requires constant vigilance by the employer.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 1:49 pm and is filed under
Workplace Management.
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