Before we get started, just a reminder that when we use the word “trolls,” we are truly referring to individuals that are literally “trolling” your business. We’re talking about people who are looking for gaps in your company that they can exploit. What exposures do you have? How can they benefit by taking advantage of those exposures?
We’ve written before about using the interview and onboarding process to eliminate the trolls before they join your team, but what happens if some trolls slip through the cracks? You need the right policies and procedures in place to prevent those trolls from doing any damage to your company.
Here are a few areas that trolls might try to exploit:
- Workers’ compensation claims
- Policies around discipline and termination
- Payroll, accounts payable, or other financials
- Social media accounts
No matter what size business you are, you can’t run from the fact that trolls are out there, unfortunately. I’ve seen lots of companies who think it’ll never happen to them, but it does. If you’ve hired employees and set them up for success, most employers naturally expect some loyalty in return. But that’s not always what happens.
Sometimes trolls have a plan from the beginning, while other times it grows out of bitterness or simply too much temptation over time. Maybe an employee sees how well the business is doing and doesn’t feel like they’re compensated fairly enough. Or maybe they’ve hit some rough times and see a chance to change that while thinking the company won’t really miss the money.
So how do you prevent people from harming your business? Like many things, it goes back to policies and procedures. Do you have the right policies in place and do you hold employees accountable for following them? Do you have checks and balances in place?
For workers’ compensation claims, employees may inflate an injury to get more paid time off work. But having the right procedures and paperwork in place can reduce that risk if an employee receives a prompt medical evaluation and treatment.
When it comes to employee discipline and termination, make sure you’re documenting everything along the way. Otherwise, you may find yourself fighting a wrongful termination complaint, which could result in significant fines for your company if the claim stands. All managers need to be well trained on how to have those conversations with employees and document it.
For financials, make sure you’re regularly reviewing all financial reports and accounts carefully. There have been so many situations in the news where a bookkeeper ends up embezzling thousands of dollars from an organization because no one ever checked the reports.
Even seemingly little things like social media account access or website access can create an issue. If only one employee has the logins for social media and is terminated or simply gets mad at the company, that can create a pretty significant headache and damage your reputation in a short period of time.
The more consistency you have in your organization in terms of policies, the more protected you’ll be from potential trolls within your company. If they’re looking to exploit your company and discover they can’t, they’ll find a way out. And that’s okay.
I’m not recommending that you always think the worst of people, but it’s important to recognize the potential risk and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your business.
Want to ensure your company has the right policies and procedures in place? Contact Why HR today to discuss how we can help.