The Types of Employee Risk You Cannot Afford to Overlook

The Types of Employee Risk You Cannot Afford to Overlook

Child's hand reaching into a cookie jar
As companies develop their risk management plans, there are certain types of employee risk that should never be overlooked.

Every company knows that people are its greatest assets. It’s true. Your people possess the ideas, skills and enthusiasm that will make your company successful.

Employing people and managing teams also introduces employee risk to the company’s overall operations. It’s not pleasant to think that your own employees could threaten the company’s interests, but it’s the reality of the modern business environment and it must be part of a sound risk management plan.

Specifically, there are two types of business employee risk that need to be considered.

Fidelity

In the workplace, fidelity refers to losses caused by fraudulent acts perpetrated by individuals. (Yes, we’re talking about crimes).

The truth is, in many cases, these losses are caused by the dishonest acts of a company’s employees. Today more than 90 percent of companies have had some type of employee theft. These activities have real implications for the bottom line. Companies still choose to think of their exposure with a lax attitude of ‘it won’t happen to me’. The reality of the situation is, it’s just a matter of time until it does happen.

At the management level, fraudulent activities are hard to address. Other than checking inventory records or acting on rumors, there are few ways to identify and tackle employee thefts. The best practice is to prevent. Have processes and protections in place beforehand.

Companies need to protect themselves against these potential losses as the methods of attack become more sophisticated.

Employment Practices Liability

Successful companies focus on empowering people and building teams. It’s a key step in achieving your goals. However, your employee practices can also introduce risk.

In every industry, employees who are angry, rightly or wrongly, are taking action against their employers. Common complaints include:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Failure to promote
  • Poor training
  • Sexual harassment

There are other workplace situations that we have seen come before the courts. For example, a recent legal case featured a “failure to hire” complaint where a job candidate who believed they had the right to a particular position took action against the potential employer for hiring someone else.

Similarly, companies are now realizing they are at risk when dealing with third-party activities, or relationships between employees and outside people. For example, if a courier visits your business and feels that he or she was unfairly harassed by one of your employees, your company may become the target of a harassment complaint.

Managing Types of Employee Risk

Successful companies are built on their people. They invest in them, help them grow and encourage them to succeed. It’s hard to plan for risks associated with employees and employment practices. But those risks are real.  Proactivity is key. Understand the risks and take action to protect your organization.

To learn more about these types of business risk and how Trisura can help, contact us today.

Your Turn

Has your company encountered these types of business risk?

What solutions did you employ?

Are you prepared?

The Covenant House Sleep Out – By Mike George

The Covenant House Sleep Out – By Mike George

Mike George Sleep OutMost mornings, I walk up Bay Street from Union Station on my way to Trisura’s office. I pass by several homeless people either sleeping out on grates or asking passersby for money. These less fortunate souls are part of the social fabric of downtown Toronto, and are present in every major metropolitan center in Canada. If you are like me, perhaps because it is such a common sight, I generally walk past without much of a second thought.

The issue becomes even more evident mere blocks away from the financial core, and statistics suggest that as many 10,000 youth spend at least part of their year homeless and sleeping on the streets of Toronto.

I was approached by a broker friend in early November with a request to sponsor him for Sleep Out: The Executive Edition. This is a unique experience for corporate executives to raise awareness and funds in an effort to provide opportunity and hope for homeless youth. This is done through Covenant House by sleeping out on the street for one night. As I read about the inspiring services provided by Covenant House, and the positive impact they’ve had on the lives of thousands of youth across North America, I decided to do more than donate. I decided to sleep out myself.

Sleeping Out

On November 23, with 73 other hardy souls from public and corporate organizations, I bedded down in a sleeping bag on a piece of cardboard in an alley not far from Covenant House. We were fortunate that while it rained most of the night, the temperature stayed above zero. Thanks to a protective balcony, we managed to stay fairly dry as well.

Despite these advantages (the warmth of my bag and the strength in numbers, including the Chief of Police), I found it incredibly difficult to sleep. The noise of the city continues throughout the night, and is magnified in the wee hours. Sirens, screeching tires, shouting, honking horns and garbage trucks picking up dumpsters. During the night, I could only imagine how scared and lonely a vulnerable kid on the street would feel.

Covenant House

Thankfully, Covenant House is one of several organizations that offer a safe place of refuge for street kids. They shelter 120 kids every night, feed over 250 youth daily and provide medical, educational and crisis intervention programs for thousands of kids every year. Covenant House also runs a highly successful re-integration program that assists youth in finding jobs and getting affordable housing. They help these kids become meaningful contributors to society.

As part of the event, we met with some of the youth being supported by Covenant House as well as many of the social workers involved. The average age of kids first using the services of Covenant House is 15 or 16. Many of these youth are runaways from disadvantaged or abusive homes. About one third suffer from mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

They are often defenseless and vulnerable to gangs, pimps, prostitution and substance abuse. Without the help and support of shelters like Covenant House, the chances of these kids “making it” are slim to none. Even with the incredible efforts of the social workers involved, one of the most poignant moments for me while touring the shelter was observing a memorial of small doves. The memorial has the names of the dozens of youth who had previously used the services provided by Covenant House, but had subsequently died on the streets of Toronto over the past number of years.

What You Can Do

Overall, our collective efforts sleeping out have raised in excess of $750,000 and counting. Thanks to the incredible support of both Trisura staff and many of our phenomenal brokers, I was very fortunate to raise in excess of $23,000. The experience was eye opening and extremely rewarding. As a result, I have committed to sleeping out for the event again this year and to bringing along a few more friends to sleep out with!

It’s not too late to help if you are interested, and I invite you to visit Covenant House at www.covenanthousetoronto.ca if you want to learn more.

Thank you all once again for your generous support.

Best regards,

Mike