1. If you need a rubber band or paperclip and do not have time to pick-up a pack on your way home from work, would it be acceptable to "borrow" it (expecting never to return it)?
Too often, companies don't want to consider the thought of someone on their team stealing from the company. They believe that by creating a ultra-team-oriented environment with a strong set of values, employees would think twice before stealing. Let's not be naive in thinking that it cannot happen to us; especially when we are on watch. Instead, keep your focus on mitigating risk at all times. You owe it to your client.
Have you ever been blindsided by a co-worker who you thought could be trusted?
3. Allowing employees to self-discover their own solutions is more impactful than spoon-feeding them. Not only will you get the employee's buy-in more quickly, but it will give a boost to team member morale when they see that management listens to their suggestions. Remember the Hawthorne Light Studies?
What are some other benefits of self-discovery?
1 -- No, it is never acceptable to remove any property from work that does not specifically belong to you. If you need paperclips, rubber bands or other supplies, you need to make the time to stop and get them. It is never ethical to take office supplies even if you have the intention of returning or replacing those supplies. It's not acceptable. All supplies that you take affect the overall level of profitability for the company, even if it's a matter of a few dollars aside from being unethical. It is also very unprofessional to do so and is grounds for termination.
Have you ever been ...
This solution explains the ethics of borrowing supplies from your office, and if it is common to be blindsided by a co-worker who you thought could be trusted. This solution also discusses improving the flow of communications in the workplace and benefits of self-discovery.