According to a survey by the Ponemon Institute 90 percent of the respondents in the survey admitted experiencing leaks of confidential documents over the 12 months prior to the survey. Also, 59 percent of the respondents acknowledged their controls are ineffective at monitoring employees.
These data leaks could have been avoided if there was a strong employee investigation process in place which could have helped the businesses detect threats early and avoid data breaches or losses.
But, how can an employee investigation help? What benefits does it hold? Here are three reasons that effective employee investigations are crucial for your business:
1. Boost Employee Productivity
Employees are the lifeblood of your business and what can make or break your business is how productive your employees are.
According to a survey by Salary.com, 39 percent of employees were found to spend less than an hour in performing personal tasks online while at work, while 21 percent of employees invest two to five hours.
Now, if you consider the least amount of time spent on personal tasks, you might think that spending less than an hour is usual and doesn’t affect your business as much.
However, if you take a 100-person organization and apply the time spent accordingly, you’ll find out that it is equivalent to the time spent by six full-time employees!
Do you think your business can afford wasting six employees’ salaries every year?
But with an employee investigation process or tool in place you can perform user activity monitoring, such as monitoring which apps your employees use and what actions they perform. Knowing this information will definitely help you improve your employee productivity to generate better returns in investment.
2. Prevent Corporate Fraud
According to a report by The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), on average, a typical company loses around $140,000 of its revenues to fraud. Around 20 percent of losses being over $1 million, the report stated. The following statistics are even more shocking:
- It takes an average of 18 months to detect fraud.
- 87 percent of occupational fraudsters are first-timers.
- 49 percent of victim enterprises never recover their losses.
However, you can cut down on such opportunities, if you can keep track of what communications your employees made over corporate emails, chat or instant messaging, social media websites and others.
Additionally, you can do a file auditing, which will not only help you to find out what data was accessed, but will also help you find out what was done with the data.
3. Prohibit Discrimination and Harassment
According to a report by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), last year, around 6,862 sexual harassment charges were reported with over $35 million paid in damages. This figure was around $45 million in 2013.
Needless to say, if you don’t put a stringent focus on these types of issues, it can prove to be very costly to your business.
In addition, watching inappropriate content at work, which may be offensive or illegal, can turn into bigger problems as well.
But, with an employee investigation process or tool, you can easily track what content your employees are accessing, if any inappropriate comment was made over instant messaging to another employee and more.
Context Is Key
To perform a better investigation, you need to obtain unbiased information that shows what an employee said and did. Remember that both proof and context should be an important part of your investigation. Collecting data to prove an action took place is simply not enough, you also need to have context of why it happened.
Another important element is that you need to have the data in the first place—and it needs to be easy to access and extract. Many organizations don’t have the data necessary to mount an effective investigation at all. Many have the data, but it’s buried in various systems and logs and requires a Herculean effort by IT personnel—taking them away from operational tasks that need to be managed as well.