Safeguarding Your Business From Offense

This week's troubles on Wall Street make me reflect upon an earlier downturn in the 90's in the financial services industry as i was a VP of HR for a large national retail and mortgage establishment. While working in this industry, I managed two separate selective reductions in force affecting about 85 employees, plus a plant shut down of approximately 330 employees.

Certainly it would be a difficult time for me personally and for my employees. My husband called me "the black widow" then, asking me following each workday how many employees I'd ended. Once I finished managing the plant shut down, I then received my own severance package and exited the company to begin individual HR consulting clinic. I'd been offered the option for the transfer to another division or a severance package. Quite honestly, I didn't want to manage anymore RIFs even though I'd become individual matter expert, then i opted for the severance package.

As the economy tightens, overall criminal activities increase radically. This includes every type of crime from theft & embezzlement to workplace violence and corporate espionage. The American Bankruptcy Institute reports that consumer bankruptcy filings rose to just one.06 million in 2008, compared with 801,840 during 2007 & that trend will be far higher in this year.

More and more, individuals are facing increased financial pressures; which leads any sharp spike in every one areas of crime and litigious behaviors. As individuals struggle with foreclosures, layoffs, rising expenses, increasing medical costs, and better interpersonal stress, these factors increase the chance that employees will steal from employers, or leave the business taking company assets or other sensitive information with these people. Expect IP theft and identity theft to reach record highs in next year, and take additional precautions to protect your business' most worthy assets.

Businesses both large & small are heading into bankruptcy in record numbers: 28,322 businesses filed in 2008 in addition to 29,960 in your first three quarters of 2008 (according on the American Bankruptcy Institute), with no symptoms of slowing down anytime soon. So it's not surprising to see theft & litigious activity sky-rocketing. The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that employee theft costs businesses $40 billion dollars each year. This total is 10 times the value of street crime losses annually in the country. The US banking industry reports losses of well over $1billion annually in which well above the combined losses since bank robberies. American businesses lose about 5 percent of annual revenues to fraud resulting in staggering losses of around $638 retail outplacement billion (based on research by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners). Compromised systems, data leakage, and network security vulnerabilities also top the list of damaging and criminal activities when the economy nose-dives. Businesses, governments and universities reported nearly 1 / 2 more data breaches last year as compared to 2007, exposing individual records of quite 35.7 million Americans, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center of San diego, ca. Organized crime rings are expanding, using insider employees, and are responsible for much of this theft. The FBI states that employee theft is most effective growing crime found today.

Businesses should your effects of prior employees as well as recently laid-off employee behaviors, aside from existing employees. Employers and managers often overlook their existing employees who possibly be outwardly happy for optimal job but inwardly feel they are owed more through company for their loyalty, because their pay or options have been reduced, or simply mainly because they often feel qualified to receive have more. The incidence of Workers compensation claims are already increasing and incidents of petty theft internally within companies is at an all-time high.