As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably spent years building your business. Brick by brick, you not only constructed its physical presence but also its team and a brand that your audience know and trust. That’s an incredible achievement indeed, but what if a single bad actor could come and undo all of your work?
When someone sets out to sabotage a business, a seemingly rock-solid standing can soon begin to feel like a house of cards. When a well-aimed shot lands reputational damage, public perception can turn on a dime, the media can come for blood, and profits can quickly plummet.
So how can this be prevented? To answer that question, today, we’re going to explore the importance of corporate intelligence services and large or small business reputation management in reinforcing your business against the threats posed by a saboteur.
Where Might a Sabotaging Attack Against My Business Come From?
There are three possible sources to have on your radar for any potential effort to ruin your business reputation.
A competing business: A competitor may set out to undermine your business to its own advantage.
A disgruntled employee: An employee may decide to damage your business from the inside.
An angered customer: A disappointed customer may set out to ruin your business reputation based on their own perception.
Reputational Threats from Competing Businesses
Think that all is fair in the world of enterprise? Think again. The harsh reality revealed by research is that 18% of businesses admit that they would consider sabotaging an online competitor—and that’s only the ones who were willing to admit to such an urge. In truth, there is more to gathering corporate intelligence than being able to outmaneuver your competitors’ marketing strategies.
In addition, corporate intelligence consultants are often enlisted by clients to ensure that competing businesses aren’t actively working to bring them down. An ugly campaign of bad reviews, data leaks, hostile forum and social media posts, public accusations, and exposés can unravel even the most neatly woven of organizations so this threat should never be overlooked.
Reputational Threats from Employees
Alongside monitoring corporate competitor intelligence, there is merit to keeping an eye on your own house too. It only takes one employee of questionable morals who gets passed over for a promotion for things to begin to go awry. Happily, effective ways to minimize this threat are to conduct detailed background checks on every member of your team and keep corporate culture strong and thriving.
If you think that morale may be lagging in any of your departments or are seeing conduct red flags with regularity, a Corporate Culture Audit may be the intervention that stops these smaller symptoms from escalating towards something that causes permanent reputational damage.
Business Reputation Damage Control
Outlined above are plenty of preventative measures that you can use to safeguard your business against those who would tarnish its reputation. But what happens if the floodgates have already opened? In these instances, an expert in corporate intelligence and investigations can be your ultimate ally, helping you evidence the truth, defend your honor strategically, fend off any legal threats, and bring bad actors to justice. In parallel, working with a large or small business reputation management specialist can allow you to gradually wind back the online trail of destruction and restore public faith in your offering. If you need help with this kind of damage control, the corporate team at Lauth Investigations International is ready to provide critical support. Connect with us today for a no-obligation consultation.
If something has gone seriously sideways in your place of business and you need to launch an internal corporate investigation, there is good reason to pause before deciding to do the whole thing in-house. If the allegations are serious then there’s a good chance that your corporate internal investigations will lead to a termination. If so, you’d best make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row.
Wrongful termination can lead to some mighty expensive lawsuits if the employee on the receiving end sets sights on pursuing legal recourse. The costs of a settlement of this kind can land anywhere between $5,000 and more than $100,000 depending on the circumstances. Making matters worse, those figures don’t even include additional fees such as punitive and compensatory damages or attorney and court fees.
So, what’s the single best way to protect your business against the risks of a wrongful termination lawsuit? Simply put, it’s to ensure that your internal corporate investigations are ironclad and 100% impartial. But, in a workplace that sees your HR and leadership teams mingling with other departments at every wine-infused office social, that’s almost impossible to guarantee. The answer is to bring in an outsider to assist with the corporate investigation process. Here’s what you need to know:
Advantages of External Assistance in Workplace Investigations
There’s no escaping the fact that internal corporate investigations take up time and effort that most companies don’t have to spare. The department head or HR manager tasked with leading the investigation is pulled away from their other duties, leaving a gaping hole in productivity. This role can impact their morale and those who work alongside them. Meanwhile, if they don’t do a stand-up job, the ripple effect of unconstructive interviews or sloppily gathered evidence can travel through the wider team.
In contrast, a professional corporate investigator is trained to move through the corporate investigation process swiftly, discreetly, and diligently. They will ensure that disruption is minimal and that all affected employees are handled with courtesy and compassion. At the same time, free from any of the biases that a colleague would have, the corporate investigator can use gathered evidence to create an impartial map of the facts. In doing so, they will allow your company to draw conclusions and make disciplinary decisions with total confidence.
Entrust the Corporate Investigations Process to Lauth Investigations International
We work with organizations of every scale daily, helping them avoid the pitfalls of the investigatory process that might otherwise lead to escalating employee misconduct or costly legal battles. We can cover every area of the spectrum, from prevention to legal support and everything in between.
If you want to reduce the risks that leave your business open to things like theft, embezzlement, white collar crime, time theft, and more, we can help you sure up your defenses with comprehensive employee background checks, violence and threat assessments, and corporate culture audits. If, however, the red flags are already flying, then we can help you navigate the minefield before you. We’ll root out those undermining your success with an air-tight corporate investigation process that yields real results. Plus, if a legal issue arises, our expert investigators will be ready with documented evidence and the capacity to provide court testimony if called upon. Are you ready to learn more? Then reach out to our team today. A consultation comes with no obligation, but it might save you from a whole lot of heartache.
Strong practices for internal investigations offer vital security both for and within any organization. Employees can feel confident that they will be fully supported if they need a corporate investigator in their corner, and the company itself can deftly tread paths that might otherwise be legally perilous.
That all sounds great—certainly—but where should a business turn to when aiming to establish those best practices in the first place? Today, we’re going to dive into the vital considerations when building a workplace investigations strategy that will serve you well today and in the years to come. Read on, and wrap your mind around all the major need-to-knows.
The Vital Nature of Neutrality
Whether seeking simply to consult on internal investigations or aiming to place a delicate matter in the hands of a seasoned corporate investigator, the importance of neutrality can’t be overstated. If choosing who will lead an internal investigation or contacting someone from central HR within your company for advice, it is critical to assess whether their contribution can be truly viewed as impartial.
If there are personal connections to those being investigated, witnesses, or victims in the case of workplace harassment or discrimination, this may become a lead weight around the neck of the investigation if it ever leads to litigation. Neutral oversight is essential of the investigation is to be considered airtight, so if in doubt, reach out to an external corporate investigations specialist for necessary support as a legal safeguard.
Seeking Out the Right Skillset
A misstep in internal investigations can leave a company open to accusations of retaliation and the potential of an unfair dismissal lawsuit. This means that advice taken when planning your investigatory tactics should come from those truly in the know, and crucially, be rooted in more than mere opinion. An appropriate consulting advisor or corporate investigator will be able to fully grasp workplace policies and frame them within the context of applicable laws and legal obligations. Don’t forget that they may also require the skills to audit financials conduct computer forensics.
The Availability to Take Action
Launching internal investigations without someone at the helm who can handle the complexity and sensitivity of the complaint at hand is a dangerous move, but so too is waiting for a senior HR professional to have time in their schedule to take on the task. Delays in launching internal investigations can lead to leaks to the press and even occupational health and safety complaints. When a matter is serious in nature, bringing in a corporate investigator who can take action immediately is the only logical choice.
Prioritizing Appropriate Seniority
When a workplace complaint is made against a senior individual within the team, the prospect of impartial internal investigations becomes slim at best. It is a a simple reality that it’s highly unlikely someone unconnected to that individual, with no vested interest in the outcome, and within a position that is superior to those under investigation can be called upon. In contrast, an external corporate investigator will be unaffected by the high rank of the parties under investigation and will be able to lend neutral authority to the conclusions drawn.
Do you need expert guidance for workplace investigations or a corporate investigator ready to jump on the task at hand? Call upon the dedicated corporate team at Lauth Investigations International. We will safeguard your organization’s integrity while getting to the truth of the matter. Reach out to our team today and learn more about how we can assist.
Conceptually, the anonymity of whistleblowers is a good thing. Brave souls who risk it all to speak truth to power and ensure that justice is done—a noble mantle indeed. However, at times the picture can become a little more murky and the lines of morality more ambiguous. What if the claims made by a whistleblower are factually false, or perhaps even the individual in question has made erroneous claims out of a malicious desire to hurt the company in question?
Any CEO or business owner would certainly want to know if something nefarious was happening within their team on their watch. However, in particular instances, they may wish to identify a whistleblower in an effort to enact swift damage control. The actions taken by any business or organization in this position must be legally sound and strategically deft if an escalation of the situation is to be avoided. In times such as these, a private investigator specializing in corporate investigations can be the ultimate ally in finding a whistleblower and setting the record straight.
The Complexities of Whistleblower Retaliation
While there are a diversity of legal protections in place for whistleblowers in the United States, they can vary greatly depending on the industry and unlawful activity in question, as well as from state to state. For any company intent on finding a whistleblower and taking action, it is important to seek accurate guidance on a course that will not result in litigation down the road.
On the other side of the same coin, perceived whistleblowers who aim to cause intentional harm to the organization they blow the whistle on can not only turn to various federal agencies to secure confidentiality protection, but they can even hope to gain a financial reward for their disclosure from an authority like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In such an environment, companies need to have their wits about them and mitigation plans in place.
Navigating What Comes Next After Finding a Whistleblower
A survey of whistleblowers conducted by the Bradley University Center for Cybersecurity revealed that nearly two thirds experienced some form of retaliation from their employers, such as termination, negative performance evaluation, industry blacklisting, and forced retirement. While legitimate whistleblowers facing such actions may be able to counter retaliation with legal action, this is not guaranteed. Notably, when businesses are able to demonstrate that the employee’s accusations were knowingly false or their behavior overstepped the defensible bounds of conduct, those protections may quickly be lost.
For a company in crisis, turning to a private investigator who specializes in navigating the corporate world is an excellent tactic. The private investigator will be able not only to investigate the identity of the whistleblower in question but gather evidence as to whether their accusations are founded or falsified. Taking this proactive step can help a business lessen the brunt of the impact that a whistleblower incident can make to their reputation. Whether the outcome of finding a whistleblower with the help of a private investigator is being ahead of the criminal behavior that the accusation relates to or demonstrating that the whistleblower’s actions are inauthentic, it means taking a stronger position than would be realized by taking no action at all. If your organization is standing on the edge of such a precipice and wondering which move to make next, contact Lauth Investigations today for expert, impartial advice on navigation and resolution of an active whistleblower complaint.
Inevitably, certain types of workplace wrongdoing warrant an overt investigation—when it’s in the company’s best interests to take a stance of transparency when taking steps to rectify the issue at hand. But in others instances, keeping your investigation under wraps can ultimately be the only way to mitigate damage, catch wrongdoers in the act, and prevent an escalation of impact to company reputation and financial standing. In these moments, a corporate investigator well versed in launching efficient and sound undercover investigations is the crucial ally you need in your corner.
When evidence suggests that something nefarious is bubbling under the surface of your organization’s operations, there is always a risk that what you have detected is only the tip of the iceberg. To gain a sense of the scale of the issue, it’s important to recognize that 90% of all significant theft losses within the corporate world come from employees—and that’s only one within a spectrum of immoral activities that could be happening right under your nose.
Factors such as eroded company culture, patterns of workplace theft, malingering, and even catastrophic white collar crime often go undetected by leadership for months until untold damage has been done. The salve to such risks is proactive and discreet action taken at the right time, offering the potential to thwart the misappropriation of company assets and resources. If you find yourself wondering what you are missing in your workplace, Lauth Investigations International is ready to assist.
The Types of Workplace Wrongdoing That Undercover Investigations Bring to Light
Whenever an employer has a clear sense of conduct violations or even criminality taking place under their roof—or simply has a suspicion that all is not as it should be—undercover investigations can reveal far more of what takes place in the workplace than any other form of surveillance.
A highly trained covert corporate operative will be able to accurately evidence the things that your security systems and CCTV have missed, including issues such as product or property theft, fraud and forgery, idling and malingering, substance-abuse, bullying and discrimination, non-compete violations, safety and security issues, and much more beside.
A phenomenal amount of evidence gathering can take place with zero disruption to the workplace or any indication to wrongdoers that their actions are being monitored. Once the covert operation is concluded, further formal corporate investigations, disciplinary procedures, and legal action can be taken with confidence that the material evidence is in place to back every step up.
Why Undercover Investigations Are So Effective
Whether an employee’s actions are intentionally criminal or dangerously negligent, an admission of guilt is never something that will simply arrive on your desk. As soon as the individual or individuals in question sense that they are under the microscope, in all likelihood they will quickly rally to cover their tracks. This makes overt corporate investigations a risky pursuit, as HR quickly find themselves running up against dead ends, unable to pinpoint the source of accumulated losses.
In contrast, a covert investigation undertaken with the assistance of undercover investigations specialists from Lauth Investigations International ensures the means to cast a spotlight on the facts before they move forever into the shadows. Whether the result is confirmation of your fears and the opportunity to correct them justly, or the confidence that trust in your team is something that you can afford to indulge, undercover investigations provide ultimate peace of mind. If faith has been compromised at your workplace and you suspect that all is not as it should be, reach out to our team today for tailored advice on the best way to proceed.
Before you pull the trigger on that next big investment or expansion, ask yourself: how well do you really know your market? Putting proverbial eggs in the wrong basket can be disastrous for any business—but innovative leaps are a must when aiming to achieve greatness. So, how can we know when to jump and when to pivot? The answer lies in corporate intelligence services. In fact, there is no greater ally than the corporate intelligence investigator when it comes to eliminating question marks and filling in the blanks. There is no better way to ensure that your game plan will be game-changing only in the ways that you want it to be!
Every day, corporate intelligence firms do powerful work in steering companies towards opportunity and away from danger, offering legal and ethical guidance that will allow them to make bold new moves with confidence. A trusted corporate intelligence analyst will not only present the facts, but provide expert insight into how to translate that information into decisive action. If you’d like to know more about the ins and outs of hiring a corporate intelligence firm, then you’ve come to right place. Read on to discover more about this invaluable service within the contemporary corporate realm.
Why Launch a Corporate Intelligence Investigation?
The corporate intelligence investigation—sometimes also referred to as the workplace intelligence investigation—is all about gaining clearer insight of your company’s current tactical stance in relation to what surrounds it.
A workplace intelligence investigator can gather poignant intel on whether an identified market niche is truly as open as you think it is. Equally, they might set out to deduce whether your competition is planning a similar move—posing the risk of speedy market saturation—or even whether a competitor has taken an immoral route, having swiped your ideas, and is actively engaged in trying to beat you to the punch.
At times, the work of a corporate intelligence investigator will be less about weighing up your rivals, and more about auditing your aspiring allies. If you are courting a brand new business partnership, prospecting a merger, or even simply exploring additional suppliers, this type of corporate investigations will provide the opportunity to enter into new territory from a fully informed position. Of course, if red flags appear under scrutiny, you can side-step what would otherwise have been a disastrous undertaking—protecting your company’s integrity, and continuing unscathed toward better and brighter things.
Hiring a Corporate Investigator For Structured Intelligence Gathering
Licensed corporate intelligence firms have access to many of the same databases that are used by law enforcement. They are veterans at uncovering facts within the corporate sphere, and can draw together a far more detailed picture of the current state of play than your in-house team might. Within a world that increasingly sees data as currency, this unique skill set has become invaluable to all manner of organizations—and for many, keeping a corporate intelligence consultant on speed dial is simply prudent practice. Going further, for companies large or small, hiring a corporate intelligence firm before committing to certain choices offers peace of mind in a different way, too. Crucially, it allows confidence that business dealings are conducted in a sound and compliant manner, and that the company’s hard-built reputation is never left vulnerable to risk. It is far better to reveal that all is not as it seems before placing a bad bet. At the end of the day, there are few greater assets than stable footing when about to take an all-important leap. If that warning places hiring a corporate intelligence firm freshly on your agenda, contact Lauth Investigations International today to find out which steps to take next.