Limit the threat of workplace theft and fraud

by HCA20 Oct 2014
Dishonest employees are significant issues for employers across the globe, as evidenced by a bank employee in New Zealand who stole more than NZ$400,000 from her employer, before being sentenced to two years and seven months in prison.
 
Just this month in Australia, a Sydney chef was ordered to pay $70,000 in damages to his employer, the North Wollongong Hotel, after he purchased produce for one price, then on-sold it to his boss at a higher price.
 
And according to a 2012 Canadian survey, theft costs the retail industry CA$11 million every single day, with more than a third of cases being “inside jobs”.
 
Clearly, theft, fraud and dishonest employees present significant global issues for employers, according to Ali Cavill, senior HR consultant and owner of Fit Fantastic – but she said organisations can minimise risk by improving and strengthening governance and control measures.
 
“It’s imperative that prevention strategies are established across all HR functions, including payroll, finance, internal relations, recruitment, performance management, workplace health and safety, and workplace conduct,” Cavill said.
 
“A work environment that is perceived as unfair or one in which bullying is rife can lead to resentment and deterioration in loyalty of employees, who consequently place less importance on honesty and transparent work practices. Creating a safe work environment and healthy work culture can help to combat this, by implementing policies and procedures to tackle these issues.”
 
Cavill also suggested that organisations implement an internal whistle blowing system that is supported and promoted by HR, yet separate to the HR function for reporting purposes.
 
“An organisation with a good work culture including fair treatment, growth opportunities and strong remuneration benefits can act as significant deterrent to employee dishonesty and fraud,” she added.
 
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