What You Need to Know About Corporate Investigations

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New corporate clients often ask us a lot of questions. We’ve compiled the most commons ones along with answers straight from our team of seasoned private investigators. Sit back and get to find out why your company might be in need of a corporate investigation.

What is corporate investigation?

Corporate investigation is a deep assessment conducted by a private investigator to help organizations be protected from compromised customer information, misuse or abuse of your company network, possible damaged reputation, or any liability if your company network has been used to launch an attack on other systems.

In a nutshell, corporate investigations perform a thorough investigation of your operations and that is why it can also be referred to as business investigations.

What services are provided by private eyes for corporate investigations?

If you want to find out if embezzlement or fraud is going on, if a potential business partner is clean, or if a possible business merger will benefit you, then a corporate investigation is a service that private investigators can provide to help with that.

Private investigators can provide business investigation services for a wide range of topics such as criminal inquiries, background checks, financial searches, and intellectual property breach.

Why would a company need business investigation?

Business these days is all about being informed so you can make the best decisions. Business investigations arm you with that information and other tools for your organization’s success. Examples of this are as follows:

  • Businesses remain prosperous through brand monitoring, media monitoring, compliance audits, and internet monitoring.
  • You can be protected from your competition and those who wish to take advantage of your company with the help of intellectual property investigations.
  • Internal operations can be protected from fraud by checking up on your new partners (or third parties that you hire) and performing background checks for potential hires, more so for a crucial position.
  • Investigations on due diligence can prevent your company from heading to a lawsuit.
  • Your company can get the compensation or damages it is entitled to in the event of a deal gone sour or a partnership that has gone rogue.

What happens during a corporate investigation?

Business investigations can be performed a variety of ways and tailored to your specific needs. The private investigator you hire will guide you on what specific services you need based on your case. This is why it is crucial that you be as direct about the information you are seeking or the needs you want to be addressed so the private investigator can help resolve your situation.

What services are conducted during a business investigation?

Some of the services provided by private investigators include due diligence, integrity testing, counter measure sweeps, computer forensics, financial investigation, surveillance, and security penetration checks.

Why you need to hire a private investigator for a corporate investigation?

Let’s face it, the more you know about your competitors, your internal operations, your business partners, and your market, the more likely that you’ll succeed. It is not uncommon for companies these days to have internal corporate investigators or have some private investigators on retainer so that they can get the information they need as soon as they need them.

Being on top of what is going on means having an edge over everyone else. Businesses are complex entities, and the larger your business, the less likely that the ‘real score’ gets delivered on top. With corporate investigations, you’ll be able to see through departments that may be hiding data, partners that may also be partners with your competitors, or moles posing as job applicants.

Don’t forget, hiring experienced private investigators that knows the ins and outs of corporate law means getting data that matters, that is admissible in court, and free from corporate politics.

Contact us or use the navigation tabs above to know more about Haywood Hunt corporate investigation services and how hiring us can help your business grow. Your initial consultation is on us!

 

Mississauga company fined $266,000 for ‘campaign of abuse’ against deaf worker

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A Mississauga company found to have mocked, humiliated and launched a “campaign of abuse” designed to force a deaf employee’s resignation has been ordered by Ontario’s top court to pay her $266,000.

The stinging Ontario Court of Appeal decision amplified the original damages awarded to Vicky Strudwick by more than $100,000. The result comes after four years of legal proceedings against her former employer, Applied Consumer and Clinical Evaluations (ACCE), for wrongful dismissal, breach of the human rights code and intentional infliction of mental suffering. Her lawyer called the lawsuit the “worst employment case” he’s seen in 31 years of practising.

Less than a year after she suddenly became deaf, a condition doctors believe may have been caused by a virus, the 56-year-old was fired from the polling and research firm in May 2011. By that time, she had worked there for more than 15 years and was making $12.85 per hour in her latest position.

Leading up to her dismissal, Strudwick “was belittled, isolated, humiliated and made to suffer the effects of her disability to the greatest extent possible,” the three-judge panel wrote. “This conduct was deliberate, malicious and designed to force Ms. Strudwick to quit a job she had held for almost 16 years.”

In an email to the Star, ACCE CEO Raymond Berta said his company “has been part of the Mississauga community for 30 years, with a solid track record of performance coupled with an inspiring corporate culture.

“This case occurred several years ago. As a good corporate citizen we have taken corrective action as reported and we have implemented procedures to prevent any reoccurrences.”

Andrew Hoffman, an ACCE general manager at the time, was named in the decision as “the primary participant” in Strudwick’s workplace harassment. He declined to comment on the case when reached by the Star.

Also named was Strudwick’s immediate supervisor, Liz Camilleri, who “featured prominently in (her) despicable treatment” according to the judgment. Camilleri could not be reached by the Star for comment.

Both bosses“tormented (Strudwick) for the specific purpose of making the work environment intolerable,” the court noted in its sharply worded decision, citing evidence presented in court last summer.

This included advising co-workers not to talk to Strudwick and to telephone her with information she needed. Not hearing the phone — thereby missing the information — provided her superiors with an opportunity to chastise her.

Andrew Hoffman, an ACCE general manager at the time, was named in the decision as “the primary participant” in Strudwick’s workplace harassment.
Andrew Hoffman, an ACCE general manager at the time, was named in the decision as “the primary participant” in Strudwick’s workplace harassment.   (ANDREW HOFFMAN / LINKEDIN)  

When Strudwick requested workplace accommodations — including a Canadian Hearing Society assessment, visual fire alarm, a special telephone designed for hearing impaired people, and permission to turn her desk around so she could see people as they approached her — Hoffman denied them, taking the position they were “unnecessary,” the court decision stated.

In an interview, Strudwick told the Star she had mixed emotions about the judgment.

“It doesn’t put this to rest,” she said. “I have to continue to live through this ordeal.

“It was a nightmare, that part of my life, to wake up and dread going to work. But it’s a job, so you put up with it.”

The court noted Strudwick was fired after Hoffman called her a “goddamned fool” over a “stunt” she pulled at a workplace event. The reason for the termination was for “insubordination and wilful misconduct.”

Strudwick’s lawyer, Christopher Du Vernet, told the Star he believes the case puts Ontario employers on notice that disabled workers have to be treated fairly and with respect.

“This is a warning signal for any employer contemplating disregard of employees’ human rights and it will cost them dearly if they do so,” he said. “This is a woman who came in on weekends, came in early, stayed late — her work was her life. And then she’s fired when she became disabled.”

The decision notes the company argued its penalties be deflected onto Hoffman, whose employment was terminated after Berta returned from medical leave. The court rejected this argument, stating the company “cannot escape responsibility” for the actions of its employees.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hoffman’s employment with ACCE ended in November 2014. A statement of claim obtained by the Star shows he has sued Berta, his former boss, for wrongful dismissal following a “negligent workplace investigation” into allegations that he had harassed someone within his workplace. Hoffman’s lawyer declined to comment but said the case is ongoing.

In response, Berta has counterclaimed for damages. A statement of defence and counterclaim alleges Hoffman stole from the company and mistreated employees. Neither Berta nor his lawyer could be reached by the Star on Wednesday.

For Strudwick, it “took a lot of prayer and support from friends, family, and the Canadian Hearing Society,” but she has since learned how to accept her hearing loss, work with it and move on from her workplace “nightmare.”

Still, she recalled listening to her CD collection as her hearing began to fade so many years ago, hoping in vain it would come back. Earlier this week, she recited a biblical passage from one of her favourite songs, a religious tune titled “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.”

“At that time the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.”

If you want to know more or need our help, feel free to contact us at Haywood Hunt for an obligation-free initial consultation.

Workplace Investigation or Workplace Review?

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In running a business, there will come a time when you just feel that something isn’t quite right, that some aspects of the organization just don’t make sense, or that an employee is behaving in a suspicious manner. As a business owner or a manager, you might have thought about conducting a workplace review, but then someone suggested that what ought to be done is a workplace investigation. While both aim to get to the root of whatever problem your workplace is experiencing, they are two different things, and we’ll tackle their differences as well as what might be best for your company in this post.

Workplace Review VS Workplace Investigation – The Differences

Generally speaking, workplace reviews are done even without any raised concern or even when you do not suspect that there is a problem. It is usually performed just to ensure that everything is just fine. In contrast to that, workplace investigations are conducted as a response when a concern was brought up by an employee or employees.

Below are some key features of workplace investigations:

  • There is a complaint that warrants a response.
  • The complaint should be specific and filed by a complainant in writing to be investigated upon.
  • The investigator will balance the facts and probabilities based on the complaint and submit a written report to the employer who will then use the report to make a decision.

As for workplace reviews, below are its key features:

  • Reviews are initiated by the employer with or without a complaint being made, because of this, a workplace review has no need for a named complainant or a specific complaint.
  • A consultant will look into the matter and speak to a larger group of employees.
  • Each employee will then have an opportunity to speak to the consultant in private and raise issues that may need to be looked upon if any.
  • Procedural fairness does not apply to workplace reviews because there are no complaints or allegations against particular employees.
  • The consultant simply submits a written report to the employer which summarizes the issues and concerns raised by the employees. This written report will contain notes of the consultant’s discussions with the employees. These notes, along with the consultant’s comments can be used by the employer for decision-making purposes.

Choosing Between a Workplace Review and a Workplace Investigation

Although Haywood Hunt and Associates Inc. undertakes both workplace investigations and workplace reviews, we usually speak first with the business to determine what’s needed.

We suggest a workplace investigation when there is a serious complaint, when a disciplinary action may need to be taken against an accused employee, when the employer senses that something very wrong is going on, when an employer needs a third party point of view to help with decision-making, or when some matters may necessitate legal action.

A workplace review is suggested when the employer simply wants to have an understanding of the workplace’s current state of affairs, any issues and concerns, or just have a feeler or to see if there is a future need for a workplace investigation.

As professional private investigators, we do not recommend that a workplace review and a workplace investigation be carried out at the same time because this can lead to confusion and other issues. If you want to know more or need our help, feel free to contact us at Haywood Hunt for an obligation-free initial consultation.

 

Protecting Your Interests with Corporate Private Investigations

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How often have you met someone who might be able to help your business but you were just not sure if doing business with that person would be a smart move? How can you propose to do business with someone who you don’t really know anything about, right?

There are so many ifs and buts in business. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make decisions knowing that whoever you are dealing with is trustworthy?

Who Needs Corporate Private Investigations?

The best candidates for corporate private investigations are those who have already been taken advantage of. They know what is at stake and how painful it is to be duped, especially after finding out how easy to prevent being taken advantage of is, if only they knew better earlier.

Doing your homework on people is of the utmost importance more so when you’re putting everything on the line just by dealing with them. Remember that in some cases, merely being business partners with unscrupulous individuals or businesses can mean that you or your business can be held responsible from whatever consequence connecting with such persons or companies may bring. One false move can mean losing everything you’ve worked hard for, and yes, even for something that you are not directly involved in.

End point is, whoever you are dealing with, be it just a nanny or a high-stake business deal, you need to know such things as:

  • Any record of bankruptcies
  • Blogs and other written records online
  • Possible criminal history
  • Evictions, if any
  • Foreclosures
  • Finances, especially business related
  • General reputation and/or community standing
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Media reports

The Corporate Private Investigation Advantage

The private investigator that you hire should be able to give you a comprehensive spot-on report. He/she should be able to find out if someone is vulnerable and what their vulnerabilities are because human nature dictates that someone will almost always use their vulnerabilities as a motive to do something which they will not normally do or indulge in. For instance, if someone is financially weak, that person may use an opportunity to address that vulnerability even if it means hurting your company or you financially. The person may not be a bad person but due to the perceived needs, was driven to be someone else at that moment.

At Haywood Hunt & Associates Investigation Services, we’ve dealt with small businesses, law firms, real estate firms, and big corporations to help them with their corporate private investigation needs such as doing background checks for new hires, potential business partners, and even possible recurring clients.

Background checks for new hires as well as choosing which employee to promote can help you make better decisions about running your business. As for checking on your possible long-term clients and potential business partners, think of it as an investment or a part of the cost of doing business.

You might be surprised at how much a basic corporate investigation can do for you and your business. Contact us for an obligation-free initial consultation today or whenever you need private investigators in Toronto!

Human Error and the Information Security Breach Link

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How would you feel if you find out that your most loyal employees could be responsible for information security breaches in your company? What will you think if we tell you that even you could be leaking your business’s secrets without you intending to do so?

Canadian Survey Says Human Error is the Primary Cause of Information Security Breaches

To err is human – you’ve probably heard of this saying so many times, and yet it cannot be truer especially when dealing with information. How many times have you simply dumped out receipts at a regular bin without shredding the receipts first? How many times have someone in your business answered the phone and simply gave away your company’s bank details without verifying if there is indeed a real reason for the caller to know such details?

It is not surprising that Shred-it’s 2016 Security Tracker Survey found out that the number one cause of information security breaches for small businesses is human error. Shred-it is a business specializing in destroying information sources to protect a business’s private information.

Truth be told, establishing protocols and implementing training programs are often far below the list of priorities for many small businesses despite the fact that staff errors and lack of awareness being the biggest threats to any business’s security.

What You Do Matters

The survey actually showed that 41% of Canadian C-suite executives and 47% of small business owners are aware that the biggest threat to their companies’ futures is the lack of employee knowledge regarding protocols and safety measures when it comes to handling information, but not many are doing something about this.

To illustrate the above, 39% of small business owners don’t ever conduct compliance training and only 31% of surveyed C-suite executives admit to facilitating a once-a-year training and mostly just for compliance requirements. More so, 47% of SBOs only audit their policies every few years if they do at all.

To safeguard your information, it is recommended that training should be an ongoing process and protocols should be audited and reviewed often. When employees are not trained properly, they often make crucial decisions as they see fit or whatever is convenient for them – actions that can lead to a serious security breach plus increased risk of fraud.

Failing to audit and revise policies, train employees, and keep abreast with information security trends can cause your business to lose or expose important employee, customer, and business data. This can ruin your business or severely affect your business depending on how critical the information leak is when it happens.

Correcting employee behaviour can take time because you will need to have professional help to train them and devise a sound system for protecting your data. In the meantime, you can start with the following:

  • Start shredding all documents that leave your office for the bin.
  • Have employees clear their desks each time they have to leave their workstation for longer periods.
  • Wipe out hard drives when cleaning data stored electronically. Better yet, destroy wiped-out hard drives before throwing them away if they are no longer needed.

Need more help in protecting your data and devising a training system? We can help with that! Our private investigators can help with a lot! Not only will we help with training, but we can also seek out possible breach points. Contact us for an obligation-free initial consultation!

Intro to Account Takeover Attacks

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Organized crime has taken over the internet in recent years. Any web-based account that deals with finances, gaming, retail and other consumer-facing services are under threat of attack from bot armies that are used by unscrupulous individuals.

Cyber criminals have made a very lucrative business out of Account Takeover attacks (ATO attacks) by selling the data from compromised accounts to fraudsters who, in turn, use it to commit cyber crimes that take advantage of mobile games, reward programs, financial services, retail services, and any other web-based service for consumers. It is predicted that there will be a huge spike in ATO attacks this year because of the massive number of data breach in 2015.

ATO attacks are dangerous because the accounts used were created by real users. Mass-registered fake accounts do not contain sensitive personal information but these accounts do, which makes them less suspicious from a security standpoint and therefore they are used to bypass security measures once they get sold to the underground market.

The types of financially motivated downstream attacks that uses taken over accounts are:

Spam

A service feature that accepts content from registered users is vulnerable to an attack by a taken over account. Attacks like this are usually done to askew ratings and degrade platform integrity.

Virtual Currency Fraud

Points from promotions, in-game virtual items, and promotional credits are harvested for real world cashing-in.

Financial Fraud

E-commerce or financial services that store member’s banking details are the targets. The Account takeover attack is performed by making unauthorized withdrawals from credit cards, debit cards, and bank accounts on file.

Phishing

In phishing, the attackers usually use a compromised account to launch phishing attacks within that account’s known contacts to steal their personal information, credentials, or sensitive data as well.

The ATO Army

Those performing account takeovers these days are often organized crime rings that have access to a huge number of bots that they can use to try to crack passwords. One data security company reported discovering an attack at a known retailer website with more than 300,000 failed log-in attempts from only a handful of locations.

Although the success rate was only 8%, it is still chilling how cyber criminals managed to use accounts that are fully registered and are from real people who have no idea that their accounts has been taken over.  What is even more chilling is that the credit card numbers on file were also attempted to be validated by the cyber criminals by using the data on the users’ profile pages.

User accounts that have been taken over are exploited by the fraudsters are not the only ones that are going to suffer from an ATO attack. Brands that have fallen victim will also have to deal with harmful effects on their reputation, something that will have a more long-term effect.

Need help getting your account back, investigating a case of ATO attack, or wanting to devise a plan to prevent a future attack? Then have a chat with your Toronto private investigators. Contact us for an initial consultation today!

3 Questions All Background Checks Should Answer

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Background checks can also be as simple as those offered in $10 internet site, a bit more involved as the typical pre-employment ones, and as complex, thorough, and expensive as those performed by government agencies. It is entirely up to you to choose which type would suit your needs. Just keep in mind that matter what type of background check you go for, it should answer the 3 questions below.

Was the person involved in any types of serious issues in the past?

Not everyone is an axe murderer, but it will be a lot safer for you to deal or work with someone who has not been convicted or charged with serious crimes in the past.

Background investigations can turn up records of minor run-ins with law such as indecent exposure, petty theft, drug possession, or juvenile delinquency, but it can also turn up a history of very serious offenses such as rape, homicide, assault, larceny, or grand theft. Though it is true that people can turn their lives for the better after being charged or convicted of these crimes, you will be surprised that quite a number are actually repeat offenders!

It should be noted that while some low-cost background checks can provide you with some data on criminal records, their access is often limited and will often not include recent cases.

Is the person saying the truth about who they are?

With identity theft increasingly becoming common these days, you will surely want to make sure that the person’s name, address history, birth date, and other important details truly match the person they claim to be. This is one way you can be sure that who you are dealing with is not a con artist.

Aside from the basic personal details, other details you may want to verify are education history, professional licensing, and employment history. Lies about these details red flags in any type of relationship, professional or romantic ones.

Is there an issue that the person is a ticking time bomb who manifests warning signs of future problems or exhibits any other character issue?

Issues like being involved in various lawsuits, history of financial troubles, a lifestyle that does not match with their means, repeated DUI offences, or getting fired again and again are all warning signs that the person could be more trouble than you are ready for.

We are not saying that you can’t give someone a chance to prove themselves first, but we do believe that knowledge is power. Access to information that is not publicly available can be provided by seasoned private investigators and can save you money, time, and heartache down the road. Although background checks cannot give you the full 100% answers to the questions above, a legitimate background check can at least provide you with much-needed information to enable you to make smart critical decisions that can affect your life, family, or company in the future.

Looking for a Toronto private investigator to help you with some background checks? Take a look at our private investigation services and see which one will suit your needs. We welcome questions and inquiries. Contact us today!

 

5 Ways to Minimize Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

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Workplace harassment and discrimination are more common than you think. In some instances, employees may be able to report the incident but more often than not, they are reluctant to report incidents for fear of retaliation or that they will be singled-out. As an employer, it is your duty to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for your employees – that’s something that you can only do when you’re aware of incidents and promptly act on them.

Recognize When Harassment and Discrimination Occurs

Your commitment to company policies and productivity is reflected in how effective you are in recognizing signs of workplace harassment and discrimination. Does a particular area have an unusually high turnover rate? Can you spot distressed employees and get them to tell you what’s causing their distress?

Be Able to Communicate with Employees

Regular communication allows you and your managers to recognize early on when someone is not acting the same way. An employee that’s usually open and talkative and then suddenly becomes reclusive is a sign that’s something is wrong. This could be about a personal issue but could be a sign that the change was brought upon by something in the workplace if actions are prolonged. When you encourage open communication, your employees will be more comfortable about discussing sensitive topics that will help you come to a solution if the problem is within your company.

Observe the Workplace

By simply asking questions and making yourself available for communication, you will be able to have access to concerns that may not be visible to you but are very obvious to your employees. More so, your physical presence alone is a major morale booster and can be a good reminder that any form of discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated when you’re seen acting on incidents right away.

Record and Analyze Employee Performance

Tracking employee performance can help you determine cases of workplace harassment and discrimination. Negative trends such as unexplained sick days, being tardy, and decreased performance of a normally productive employee can be because of incidences of discrimination or harassment. Although other reasons could be at play, it is better to be able to act on what you can change sooner.

Monitor Resignation Reasons and Turnover Rate

If good employees are repeatedly leaving your company out of the blue, it is time to sit down and assess what could be causing this. If they are being offered better opportunities elsewhere then perhaps you simply need to make a counter offer but if employees keep on resigning on jobs that they seem to enjoy, then there could be a deeper reason. Conduct exit interviews to have a documentation of reasons why your employees resign. Even if you do not find any cases of workplace harassment and discrimination, you’ll at least have an idea of what can be improved as far as your employees are concerned.

Keep in mind that different industries will feature different forms of discrimination. It is your responsibility to assess, monitor, and prevent incidents of workplace harassment and discrimination in your various work settings. You may use a reporting system and get expert help from private investigators to uncover issues within your organization. Your employees deserve a work environment that they feel safe in so that they can focus on their productivity.

Suspecting incidents of workplace harassment and discrimination at your organization? Have experts find out for you what’s really going on! As the leading team of private investigators in Toronto, we pride ourselves on conducting thorough corporate investigations and surveillance to resolve issues like this for you. Contact us for an obligation-free initial consultation today!

 

5 Tips to Reduce Your Public Liability Claim Risk

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Running a successful business means managing the aspects of your business that may not seem overtly important, such as risk reduction. If your business involves anything that may cause indirect or direct injury or bodily harm to anyone, or to someone’s property, then you now have a responsibility to the public and is at risk for a Public Liability claim.

Because of the risk discussed above, your business is in danger of getting severely affected if something does happen. Your best course of action is to set guards in place so that you won’t have to worry about a Public Liability claim and can concentrate on running your business efficiently. To help you with this, we’ve compiled 5 tips on how you can reduce your risk of a Public Liability claim below.

Have Sufficient Safety Measures in Place

Too often, businesses skip implementing having safety measures because having so seems to be a waste of money that could otherwise be invested in the business. What most fail to realize is that that looking into safety measures is a business investment because it can save you money in the long run.

Have the Right Level of Insurance Coverage

Because claims can get very expensive, making sure that your insurance covers for that is a very smart decision. Remember that insurance policies differ and what may be included in one may not be a part of another, no matter if they cost the same or are called by the same term. You won’t want to be paying for cheaper insurance now only to realize later that you’re not adequately covered when you have to liquidate assets just to be able to pay up for a claim.

Taking Lessons from Someone Else’s Mistakes

The beauty of managing a business today is that there are a lot of resources available for you to see what works and what doesn’t. To review your business’ possible risks, all you have to do is to review similar businesses that have done mistakes which resulted to a Public Liability claim so that you can avoid making the same mistakes. Talking to industry leaders or attending industry-specific conferences and gatherings can likewise help you immensely.

Consulting with the Right Professionals

It is understandable to make mistakes when you don’t have decades of industry or business experience yet but a mistake you cannot afford is not seeking professional advice when needed. Seeking professional advice from the right person(s) can help you uncover weaknesses you didn’t know your business have. Their insight can point you to the right direction, save you money, and make you better profits in the long run. Of course, professional advice does come with quite a price tag and it’s up to you to leverage it to get the most benefit.

Take Charge and Be Smart

Complacency with your current state of affairs will not do you any favours when you’re faced with a Public Liability claim. You need to be proactive in seeking expert professional advice, frequently checking if your safety measures are still adequate, and reviewing if there is a need for change in your procedures or policies whenever your business takes a new turn. As part of the management, it is your duty to review your business on a regular basis and get what needs to be done right on time.

Need help in reducing your risk of a Public Liability claim? Consult with the leading team of private investigators in Toronto! Contact us for an obligation-free initial consultation today!

Company Hotlines – More Than Just a Reporting System

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Oftentimes, organizations put up a company hotline just to have a means for employees to raise concerns, but a well thought out and promoted company hotline can function beyond that.

Benefits of a Responsive Company Hotline

Company hotlines, whether in the form of a website or a telephone number only works if employees trust that their reported concerns will be attended to, or at least, listened to.

Compliance professionals and those with similar tasks of determining whether a reporting system is working, share that the huge majority (about 80%) of all concerns reported by employees are simply trivial matters. 8 of 10 times the report will just be about office politics, who was mean to whom, who’s taking all the sugar packets at the office pantry, who yelled insults at someone and so on. This is why it is too easy to take a dismissive attitude towards the concerns being raised. This is not what you want to reflect.

Though it is tempting to simply ignore the need for a company hotline due to the fact that the majority of complaints and concerns are petty or even personal issues, you cannot discount the other 20% that could mean a big deal in your organization. More so, dismissing a company hotline as something your organization does not need reflects a dismissive culture – something that can cause an increase of employee fraud in your business.

Your company hotline’s value should not be gauged by the types of reports nor the number of reports that is fed to it. Its value is actually about promoting positive morale and show employees that the company’s management is interested and is willing to listen to their concerns.

When a CEO or someone from upper management urges employees to report concerns, employees feel more confident to talk about the things that are happening in your organization that you may not be noticing. Though some employees will still often share their concerns with their supervisors, a company hotline increases the likelihood that the concerns will actually reach the ears of the decision makers and will not be lost to company politics.

An Invaluable Resource

A well-implemented reporting system that is highlighted and promoted by the company’s upper management can easily become the company’s most invaluable resource for both the compliance function people and senior management. How so? This type of reporting system can uncover major issues. For instance, some companies report that they were able to sort out a major problem in their product (that could have gone out to their customers and cause damage) because one or two employees shared a concern via their hotline. These are the kind of calls that is all too uncommon but can have a major impact on your business if left unreported.

A Culture of Compliance

Company hotlines give way to opportunities that promote a culture of compliance. Companies that make a point of regularly monitoring the nature of calls and analyzes the data from that can garner real deep insights and see patterns within the practices in the company.

Take for instance a case of a seemingly perfect department, with a supervisor leading that department and everything running smoothly. No one would have thought there is something wrong going on in there if not for a few separate reports by employees which prompted the management to investigate and find out that there are a ton of issues. It turned out that the supervisor was covering for the issues because getting the issues addressed means exposing some unsavoury things he is doing.

Company hotlines gives you a means to really find out things that should be addressed. It gives you some insights on what should be investigated and alerts you to possible fraud.

Best Practices for Company Hotlines

A call in number is the most common type of company hotline but using other means such as a feedback link or email can give you more means to extract real concerns. This is why having a few avenues for your reporting system is crucial for it to be truly effective.

Company hotlines that allow employees to leave anonymous reports can help protect your whistleblowers. It might be cumbersome because follow ups are nearly impossible but this will help those who are just too afraid to speak up because they know that their anonymity will be protected.

Responding to reported concerns demonstrates that your business is committed to both your company’s and employees’ welfare. This increase in trust factor that’s brought in by the company’s responsiveness and reliability gives employees more reason to report a concern. More reports with real value can mean a better organization and profits for you!

Need help setting up a proper company hotline? Then contact Toronto’s leading team of private investigators for a consultation! We specialize in various ways of protecting your business from fraud. Let’s talk about how you can make having a company hotline work for you today!