Regarding management, what can be done to curb white-collar crime at their place of work? Partially due to lack of adequate workplace regulations, white collar crime only seems to be getting worse. What can management do to address these concerns within their own organization?
Crime comes in many shapes and sizes, and although the media tends to highlight violent crime above all else, white-collar crime often has a farther-reaching impact than the former. This kind of crime takes place behind closed doors and often affects thousands of hard-working citizens who deserve better.
As a manager, it’s important to use your position of power to take precautionary measures to keep these kinds of crimes from happening to your employees and their families. Being in a management position means being a moderator for your company, as well as an advocate for the well-being of the employees who trust you to do right by them.
Common Forms of Crime
White-collar crime is often something that happens in upper-level management positions, such as in C-suite and treasurer roles. These crimes can be easy to commit because their impact has a trickle down effect that does not usually affect those at the top of the company, and tends to affect bottom-level employees the most.
Examples of these faults include skipping safety measures to save the company money, wire fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, securities fraud, insurance fraud, and many other types of fraud. White-collar crimes in the form of financial fraud cost alleged victims over 74 million dollars in the last couple years.
These types of crimes have become even more complicated with advancing technology, as there is an entire level of cybercrime that has simplified the process of financial fraud. Missteps as simple as employees using unsecured wifi can open your company up to cybercrime, which is why it’s important to go through trainings with employees and to have general cybersecurity standards set for your company. Ignoring these steps in order to save time and money can open your company up to cyberattacks when cybercriminals are waiting to strike.
Although white-collar crime may seem harmless at times because it is not immediately or physically hurting anyone, the repercussions are measurable. Some of the most notable white-collar crimes of the 21st century were the regulatory negligence and incompetence that were the root cause for the housing bubble burst of 2008 that caused a great recession in the U.S.
Although there were many factors to what resulted, it’s largely recognized that the banks were responsible for the gravity of the recession. As a manager, it’s important to recognize the signs of white-collar crime and to ensure it’s not happening at your place of work.
Safety measures are some of the most important to be in compliance with, as ignoring these can have a long-lasting impact on the health of employees, and can result in millions of dollars in lawsuits. Although complying with laws should always be a priority, it’s important to note that the influence of lobbyists can mean that laws don’t always reflect what is best for the people, and a company should value ethics over law. For example, although the U.S. EPA may create guidelines for asbestos use, knowing that these chemicals are toxic and cause 40,000 deaths annually should be enough information for companies to steer clear of its use.
Ignoring health facts not only can be detrimental to your employees’ health, it can end up being detrimental to the survival of the company, which can leave hundreds of people without their livelihood. When in a position of power, there may be hundreds and even thousands of employees trusting you in a leadership role to do what is right for the company and its employees. Companies that prioritize and communicate with their employees often have higher approval rates for their CEOs, as employees notice the actions of management by the way their quality of life is affected.
To avoid allowing fraud, overlooking safety measures, and other types of white-collar crime, management teams should develop policies and checks and balances systems to decrease the possibility of something so important being missed by one or two people.
By creating a small regulatory department that ensures certain parts of projects are checked off for safety and to ensure that financial regulations are complied with, you spread the responsibility across a group of individuals, which makes your company more of a safe space for all of your employees.