Have you ever noticed how defending against certain kinds of corporate threats can seem obvious but others less so? For example, data theft can be prevented with top-notch digital security and physical inventory theft with security teams and CCTV systems. These dangers are easy to imagine and anticipate, but others are ominously shadowy. White collar crime is a shadier case because the enemy often lies within—a trusted member of your team who decides to line their own pockets illegally.
Sure, white collar crimes might be non-violent, but they can dent or sink companies just as readily as bombs do ships. So what is the most important factor when aiming to block a white collar crime stealth attack? The answer might surprise you.
There are numerous practices and procedures that can act as layered lines of defense against white collar crime: human resources oversight, coordinated access control, dual-authorization for asset transfers, background checks for recruits, and more. However, a single factor can be more relevant than any of these, and that is corporate culture.
To understand why, ask yourself a few simple questions. What leads a person to want to rip off their employers, customers, or shareholders? What allows a team to decide not to report the nefarious activity of a colleague? When corporate culture sours, employees on any level can experience resentment, entitlement, or simply little enough emotional investment that they’re willing to turn a blind eye. So let’s explore how to avert these scenarios effectively through the strengthening of corporate culture.
Why You Should Care About the Culture Within Your Business
White collar crime can sound dramatic and unimaginable when we see it in the news, but in reality, more than 35% of U.S. businesses have felt the very real sting in its tail. For businesses that have allowed a toxic workplace culture to stew, the bad news is that white collar crime is just one of the potential symptoms of a corporate curdle. Others include employee theft, malingering, rapid turnover, FMLA fraud, bullying, harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, and more.
In a melting pot of bad corporate culture, you can be sure that by the time you start to spot red flags popping up everywhere, productivity will have plummeted and untold damage may have been done. However, it’s never too late to turn the ship around.
In contrast, a strong corporate culture is home to effective communication, high-caliber talent, shared goals and values, strong company loyalty, engaged and mutually supportive teams, and—critically—a universal sense of responsibility that makes the working environment hostile to those with criminal intentions.
Undoubtedly, it is very difficult to run a scam or scheme in an environment where everyone has their eye on the ball. Critically, employees who feel nurtured and supported within the workplace are far less likely to consider biting the hand that feeds them. With that in mind, let’s explore how to rapidly course-correct your corporate culture and keep it on track.
Combat White Collar Crime With a Corporate Culture Audit
Understanding not only how vital corporate culture is to the successful operation of any business but also how urgent addressing eroded workplace culture can be, we developed a comprehensive service to support proactive clients within the corporate sphere. The Lauth Investigations Corporate Culture Audit serves as a critical health check for businesses and a primary line of defense against white collar crime.
Some of our clients use this resource as a preventative measure, periodically reviewing their current corporate culture standing and setting a course for continuing improvement. Others use it as a fire extinguisher—a means to press pause on a situation that has gotten out of hand and take strategic steps toward a far more solid position.
Our corporate investigations team provided tailored auditing, addressing everything from assessing operational efficiency, shared values, and communication practices to uncovering unseen wrongdoing and potential white collar criminality in the workplace. If we illuminate something that you weren’t expecting, we can also assist with swift, discreet, and effective corporate investigations to deliver justice and better protect your interests. To have a team of corporate culture and white collar crime experts in your corner, reach out to Lauth Investigations International today—because prevention is even more powerful than cure.