Most business leaders, understandably, focus their effort and attention on the day to day operations of managing their business and providing for their clients or customers. As a result, they are often unaware of, or not prepared to deal with, the significant risks they face from potential employee misconduct or criminal acts. In order to protect themselves, their businesses, and their customers, it is vitally important for any business owner to understand the various risks that employees could bring to the workplace and how to mitigate them.
Consider just some of the ways that employee activity could negatively impact your business:
- Workplace violence
- Embezzlement/theft in the workplace
- Negligent hiring liability
- Sexual misconduct
- Theft of trade secrets, proprietary information, or client confidential information
- Harm to reputation
In other words, your employees can have much more of an impact on your business' bottom line and on the safety of your workers than you realize. In order to get this issue under control, there are several steps you should consider taking. These include the following.
- Start by educating yourself. Spend time learning about the possible risks your business may face, how it impacts your business, and what warning signs might exist that show the issue is present in your business. The same risk factors do not apply to every business!
- Inform others in the workplace. Often, criminal issues are identified by coworkers and reported to management. The fact is that employee criminal activity can lead to a negative workplace environment for everyone, and many team members will be on the lookout for these issues, too.
- Turn to the experts. By retaining professional investigators, particularly those with experience conducting background and due diligence investigations, you can greatly reduce the risks associated with any potential or current employee. You can use private investigators to help with employee screening during the hiring process as well as to run internal investigations into any potential issues within your business.
- Use the right tools. There are numerous tools that can help mitigate the risk of potentially harmful employee activity. These range from automated payroll and financial systems to security cameras to internal computer network monitoring systems. By using the tools available you'll give yourself and your employees a safer work environment.
The key here is to be vigilant. By knowing what to look for and understanding what steps to take to correct any issues, you'll be able to start working towards a safer and more productive workplace.