The media and financial worlds saw the grueling impact of poor workplace culture this week as media giant Fox News has finally agreed to pay $1 million in penalties after a workplace culture investigation concluded following allegations of sexual misconduct within the network. The allegations ended in the departure of Fox’s co-founded Roger Ailes, and anchor, Billy O’Reilly. The chairperson and commission for the New York City Commission on Human Rights, Carmelyn P. Malalis, stated in an interview on Tuesday, “This is the largest civil penalty that has ever been levied by the City Commission on Human Rights. We need to send a message in order to deter future acts of harassment or retaliation.”
Part of the success of the settlement is the clause that prevents Fox News from requiring confidential arbitration in cases where an employee files a complaint under the Human Rights Law. This action prevents Fox News from privately hashing out the legalities of such complaints behind closed doors with little to no public accountability, giving the corporate culture little to no reason for change. Corporations, especially highly visible ones like those resembling Fox News, must have the oversight in place to ensure problems like sexual harassment allegations do not have the consequential chance to gut the company from within. With an appropriate structure in place, a workplace culture investigation can draw problems like employee misconduct out into the open as if drawing poison from a wound.
Stories like the one about Fox and their workplace culture investigation are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, seeking a workplace culture investigation in order to excise malignant sources of disruption from your company’s daily operations is an investment in the longevity of the company. Employers who are vigilant about their workplace culture can expect to see an increase in productivity as employees become more engaged in their jobs as the result of healthy corporate culture. However, it’s headlines like the ones associated with the Fox settlement that also have employers recoiling at the idea of a workplace culture investigation. After all, the investigation could very easily turn up problems that will continue to cost the company time and money in correcting. Employers may be expected to pay out large sums in court as the result of any subsequent legal action, and the bad press associated with workplace culture investigations are undesirable in the corporate world. However, the longer corporations and employers ignore the issues surrounding workplace culture, the more devastating they can expect the impact will be once the problem is forced into the open through circumstances such as whistle-blowing, criminal investigations, or involvement from another state or federal entity. In the case of Fox, the fallout from sexual harassment allegations should have come as no surprise to internal staff who have fielded these allegations over and over again. In any case however, the hope that the publicity of a workplace culture investigation will once and for all force the company to overhaul their culture and improve the lives of their employees and the longevity of their company.
If you have need of a workplace culture investigation, consider Lauth Investigations International for your needs. We are staffed by former military and law enforcement personnel with diverse experience in workplace culture investigations. We carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and regularly receive grateful reviews from out clients. Call 317-951-1100 for a free consultation or visit us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com
When it comes to your business, you don’t know what you don’t know. Successful corporations are more than their bottom line, and corporations must be conscious of all their internal operations to ensure they’re getting their maximum output or profit. Leadership must be vigilant in seeking problems out in their organization to ensure there are no leaks in the bottom line. That’s why more executives are opting for seasonal corporate culture audits to identify corporate weaknesses.
Weakness is a subjective word, but definitively, we’re talking about structural or personnel weaknesses that contribute to weekly disruptions within the corporations. These disruptions can come in many forms, including employee misconduct, theft of trade secrets, external theft, and worker’s compensation fraud. Whatever the problem, a comprehensive corporate culture audit can serve as a net to catch these unseen problems. Purveyors of corporate culture audits can range from corporate intelligence firms to independent private investigators, but regardless of the size of the operation, diverse experience in corporate investigations is key. After all, the investigator must know what they’re looking for in order to identify corporate weaknesses.
Think of a corporate culture audit like a medical checkup for your business or corporation. Just like a medical checkup, a private investigator proverbially acts as a physician routinely looking for problems. Just like a physical, a private investigator can identify corporate weaknesses that the “patient,” or client, did not previously know existed. In this way, leadership can stay on top of things and eliminate any internal problems. The most pervasive corporate crises are likely to fly under the radar, with the perpetrator(s) making competent attempts to cover their tracks. Unfortunately, this means that the problem can go undetected until irreversible damage is already done, not unlike a debilitating disease that has gone untreated.
One of the greatest examples of these undetected risks is white collar crime. When it comes to misconduct, any official action will inevitably cross an executive’s desk. Because of their level of access and oversight into all company matters, it’s frighteningly simple for an executive to cover their own tracks in an ongoing pattern of misconduct. In the case of an independent private investigator, they can easily infiltrate a business and place themselves in a strategic position where they can observe and document the behavior of all employees without being detected. This preserves the integrity of the investigation and ensures that the executive cannot suddenly destroy all of the evidence. One of the most common is embezzlement, or other forms of financial fraud within the corporate structure. Hiring an investigator to complete a corporate culture audit not only buys oversight, but objective intelligence-gathering. When an investigator attempts to identify corporate weaknesses, they do it with an independent an objective point of view. This ensure that no stone will remain unturned, and that all results of the investigation are subject to only the highest level of scrutiny in any subsequent legal action against the corporation.
If your corporate needs a corporate culture audit, call Lauth Investigations International today at 317-951-1100 for a free quote on our corporate culture audit services. Our team of investigators is staffed by former military and law enforcement personnel, and we carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call Lauth today to learn how we can identify corporate weaknesses with a corporate culture audit.
When it comes to your business, you deserve facts—not fiction. Pervasive internal or external problems in a corporation can run an otherwise solid operation into the ground. Problems between employees, theft of trade secrets, and public relations incidents are just some of the issues that can hamper a company for decades to come. That’s why knowing what qualities to look for when hiring a corporate intelligence firm is key. Not all corporate intelligence firms are created equal and if leadership is not careful, they could just be throwing money down a hole.
When hiring a corporate intelligence firm, it’s important to remember that while the company itself should run like a well-oiled machine, it’s the quality of the investigators that are the most important. Corporate investigators are tasked with evidence gathering, interviewing witnesses, and deductive reasoning that could make or break your company. While the corporate intelligence firm may specialize in certain types of investigations, the available investigators may not have the background required to meet your needs. Corporate investigation firms typically hire someone with former investigation with law enforcement, often federal law enforcement. While there are highly qualified corporate investigators with no experience working for federal law enforcement, it is up to the client to exercise due-diligence and ask the right questions. When hiring a corporate intelligence firm, no consultant should ever be hesitant about answering questions regarding their history of civil service, or the specific qualifications of the individual investigator or team of investigators who will be addressing the company’s corporate intelligence needs.
When hiring a corporate intelligence firm, the client should never be afraid to get specific with the firm regarding questions about how they plan to meet their specific investigation needs. While many corporations experience similar disruptions to their daily operations—just like the firms themselves—not all investigation types are created equal. An internal employee theft investigation is much different from a sexual harassment investigation, and the right investigator with the right experience could be the difference between getting answers and getting jerked around. Otherwise important details might be missed and the problem continues unsolved.
Field investigations in which data is aggregated by the investigator is important, but it’s also imperative that companies hire a corporate intelligence firm that has the capabilities to gather data by means of examining and auditing company databases and searching verified background databases in order to develop leads in the investigation. These corporate intelligence firms should be literate in the IT systems your company utilizes and should be able to connect to them efficiently. This means the investigator will be able to follow any leads that develop in pursuit of answers. Most importantly, the firm should be able to use this information under the most rigid of confidentiality agreements. Otherwise, the firm could open your company up to further internal or external threats, thereby exacerbating the existing issue.
Preservation of Attorney-Client Privilege
Corporations can help improve their chances of maintaining confidentiality by having an in-house attorney to oversee the contracting of these investigators. When an investigator of any kind is contracted by in-house counsel, they can maintain confidentiality has the investigator does the fact-finding on the company’s behalf. Without these necessary steps, facts uncovered during the investigation can place the company in further jeopardy and be subject to other forms of investigation that might occur during any subsequent legal action.
If your company is in the process of hiring a corporate intelligence firm, please consider Lauth Investigations International for your corporate investigation needs. We are staffed by former military and law enforcement professionals and carry an outstanding A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. For more information on our services or to verify us, visit online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.
A merger and acquisition investigation is often one of the first steps in prudent due-diligence when one corporation is looking to buy or merge with another.
Caveat emptor. Buyer beware. Consumers often find themselves thinking this when considering whether or not to test out a new product or replace a used one. After all, knowledge is power when it comes to your dollar. Now imagine that the product is not just a new shampoo or brand of cereal, but an entire corporation. Corporations who are flirting with the idea of a merger or acquisition regarding another company have a monumental task before them of performing due-diligence in fact-finding missions about these companies before they buy. If it is a publicly traded company, then a great deal of information about it will be accessible, but what about what’s not on paper? What about the staff, the internal operations, the unmitigated risk factors that could be inherited? A private investigator might be the perfect professional to conduct fact-finding in a merger and acquisition investigation.
Private investigators have the tools at their disposal to get the full picture when it comes to a prospective merger or acquisition. Private investigators have a similar investigative tool chest as law enforcement. It’s not uncommon for private investigators to be former law enforcement personnel. They are adept at moving within the environment unseen as observers, meticulously documenting what they see. They can get an unvarnished snapshot of how the business operates on a daily basis, how engaged the employees are, and how those things impact the daily output. They are adept at developing rapport with witnesses in order to get robust answers to pertinent questions regarding the investigation. Private investigators can also use databases similar to that of law enforcement to develop comprehensive background checks on the people in leadership of the company in order to determine within reason what is their risk of misconduct or negligence. Reviewing items like criminal history, address history, litigation history, and work history, they can profile the decision makers, document their history of decision-making, and how their relationship with their employees impacts the corporate culture of the company.
When it comes to a merger and acquisition investigation, a risk management firm might be the first entity that comes to mind. Private investigators and risk management firms often possess similar investigative methodologies in their experience with observing patterns of behavior and predict multiple outcomes within reason. Private investigators might have unexpected insight into mergers and acquisitions, because while the product, the brand, and the value are all critical factors in these corporate marriages, it is truly the human element that makes or breaks a business. Not unlike law enforcement, private investigators make their trade in analyzing and anticipating human behavior in order to develop leads for their casework. Their diverse experience in this arena allows them to conduct an evaluation of the business that goes beyond numbers and profit, but also how the dynamics between employees and the corporate culture will ultimately affect the parent company’s bottom line. If the private investigator finds that the company experiences repeated disruptions to operations due to inefficiency, apathy, or negligence, it further exacerbates the causation of these disruptions. The corporate culture declines and employees become more apathetic and disengaged. Without major overhaul to the corporate culture, the entity looking to buy might reconsider. When a company has a pervasive problem with employee misconduct of all kinds, including sexual harassment, discrimination, theft, and a high rate of turnover might be flagged as an unadvised risk by private investigators and risk assessment firms alike. The quality of corporate culture moves in a cycle based on how well it meets the needs of everyone involved in the workplace. When that corporate culture is consistently poor, these companies regularly open themselves up to costly turnover, employee theft, and legal action. If your company is involved in a merger or acquisition with another company, consider hiring Lauth Investigations International for your intelligence needs. Our team of private investigators is comprised of former military and law enforcement personnel who are ready to get to the truth for our clients. We’re adept in undercover and surveillance operations and carry an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. Call today at 317-951-1100
Working from home used to only be a dream for some people.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in many significant ways, but none so illuminating as how the workforce views capitalism and corporate culture. At the onset of the pandemic, most businesses were forced to cease onsite operations in order to comply with the stay-at-home order. While some employees were furloughed due to the changed economic landscape, other employees had their positions transitioned to some form of telecommunication—zoom calls, chat boxes, and email inboxes that have become impossible to clean out. Everything has changed, which has left some working people wondering why working from home is an impossibility in an age where it can help change a corporation’s culture.
Working from home can give an employee a better sense of work-life balance. Everyone who has worked a full-time job has at one time or another craved a greater work-life balance in order to maintain their health and happiness. Many Americans across all industries and tax brackets have expressed some desire to work less for a myriad of reasons. Employees who have never had flexibility in their jobs before are enjoying the flexibility of working from the comfort of their homes. While this is not comforting to all employees, especially ones with children who are also in the home and likely involved in virtual learning, the sudden cushion of their own couch underneath them while working from home makes them wonder why this was never possible before.
Corporate culture is the manifestation of the relationship between leadership and their employees. It is sometimes referred to as organizational culture. It concerns how policies and communication from the top of a corporation can directly influence the level of employee engagement and satisfaction at multiple levels of an organization. When a company’s management does not show initiative to improve operations surrounding these types of complaints, it can create a culture of silence & resentment within the workforce. Healthy corporate culture creates a cycle of satisfaction and productivity that both benefits the bottom line and improves employee engagement for a balanced, stream of operations.
The mandate of working from home has placed some companies on notice, as the situation has exacerbated the stress of many in an already turbulent time. As work and life and work continue to pass over each other, braiding themselves into context with one another, employees are starting to expect more care from their employers were regards to their corporate culture.
There will always be businesses and business models that cannot support telecommuting as a way of day-to-day operations. Studies have shown that separating work space from living space, the routine of commute and workday operations, the continued face-to-face contact with other employees and how it impacts daily output. Not to mention that every corporation and team is unique. Every work environment is a complex eco-system in its own right—internal structure, policies, how those policies are enforced, leadership, the personalities of all interacting employees—all of these factors creating unique professional experiences. Working from home continues to recontextualize life for working people, and leadership must use this open window to start investing in their corporate culture audit.
Think of a corporate culture audit like a checkup for your business. An investigator comes into the workplace, interviews employees, reviews daily operations and polices, and how those items are enforced. The investigator looks at all of these factors and how they effect the cycle of corporate culture. The investigator then provides leadership with methods to improve their corporate culture by investing in the happiness of their employees.
If you find your business is in need of a corporate culture audit, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our corporate culture audit services. Our corporate culture audit can be customized to fit businesses of all sizes and needs. Our private investigators are made up of former military and law enforcement personnel and we carry an outstanding A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 317-951-1100, or visit us online at lauthinvestigations.com.