Haven’t you wondered why cases of occupational fraud seems to be on the rise these days? What changed and how will this change affect the future of today’s organizations?
Controversial or Timely Topic?
It is unfortunate that many people believe that the risks from human capital are getting stronger these days. With the increasing incidence of occupational fraud as seen in graphic representation of discovered cases, it does seem that our culture of freedom (as compared to a few decades ago) is being too permissive to the point that people seem to be having less restraint and personal honesty. Sociologists has been calling this as a decline in social control and yes, it does affect how employers hire. In fact, this changes how anyone can find good people for open positions.
Employee theft and shoplifting is on the rise, and the trend is not local; it is international. Analysts from across the globe names poor economy as the primary factor for this, although the big fishes of occupational fraud are almost always the people who have no need for the extra cash. Another culprit analysts and sociologists are pointing at is that workers are helping themselves to the organization’s assets to bridge the gap between desires and income. Left and right, people are bombarded with what they must buy, what they must have, and what they must look like, but is this really all?
Hayes International President Mark Doyle says that every nation has more dishonest people these days, citing sports figures, church leaders, celebrities, politicians, and people working for the government who are making the news for getting caught in questionable activities as supporting evidence. It is when people see these personas who they look up to doing dishonest acts that it makes it easier for them to rationalize doing the same. After all, it isn’t so bad if someone ‘cool’ is doing it, right?
We’ve all heard instances of famous and/or wealthy people being found guilty of fraud. When their acts come to light, it makes it much easier for less affluent folks to commit the same; perhaps thinking that it isn’t wrong when it is a ‘trend’.
How to Change This New ‘Culture’
So many measures are already in place to prevent people from following suit and engaging in fraudulent behavior. You can always file a case and have the court of law decide, but that isn’t always the most economical way to deal with occupational fraud.
As someone who heads an organization, you have to realize that you are at the frontlines of these changes regarding occupational fraud. Fraud is never okay and shouldn’t be treated as such.
If you’re wondering what you can do in your organization, you can combat this culture of fraud by cultivating a positive corporate culture that rewards people for their honesty and good work. Lead by example and start a proactive risk management strategy. It all starts with you!