Your organization has a lot of expensive equipment—copiers, PCs, and other industry-specific machines. Sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with an employee who broke something. Here are some guidelines for your initial response:
Ask the employee how the damage occurred. Meet with him in private and listen quietly as he explains what happened. Then ask questions to make sure you understand completely. Ask who was there when the damage occurred; you may decide to speak with them after this meeting. When these questions are answered, you’ll know whether you have a training issue or a discipline issue to deal with.
If the employee broke a rule, explain what it is and what the consequences will be. If the employee didn’t break a rule but acted carelessly, you’ll need to explore together ways to keep it from happening again. You may decide that a warning is sufficient. If you don’t have a clear policy with rules and consequences, you and all the employees concerned should probably meet to hammer one out.