It may be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but fraud and corruption are unfortunate realities which can be found in any workplace. Fraud and corruption are dangerous threats to economic stability, employee morale and the wellbeing of the company. No industry or service sector is automatically exempt from corruption, and it’s critical that both employees and employers work together to prevent corruption.
The most effective ways to combat fraud and corruption are through awareness and prevention. How you implement this awareness and prevention will depend on whether you are an employee or employer.
What should you do, as the employer?
As an employer, it’s important to understand where fraud is likely to occur and why people engage in fraudulent behaviour. If you’re the employer, it’s essential to lead by example and present clear guidelines that discourage fraud and corruption. As an employer or manager, it’s valuable to:
- Establish clear protocols
- Foster open communication
- Create systems of review
- Establish checks
- Take corruption claims seriously
There are a number of steps that companies can employ to prevent and fight fraud, which include:
- Implement staff awareness, education and training to enable staff to recognise the signs of corruption and fraud.
- Utilise ongoing management oversight.
- Segregate duties, to prevent one person from completing entire transactions alone.
- Create a work environment where employees feel comfortable raising concerns.
- Establish clear lines of delegated authority and responsibility.
What should you do, as the employee?
Tackling corruption in your workspace can often be a tricky business- it’s important to remain professional and objective while ensuring that you report any fraudulent behaviour. If you suspect that a colleague is behaving unethically and involved in something illegal, be sure to double check your suspicions. It’s important to avoid false allegations, while also ensuring that you don’t brush off suspicious behaviour.
If you suspect corruption or fraud, research whistleblowing laws and find out how you can report the behaviour to the correct workplace channels or the authorities. Avoid confronting the individual yourself, but rather allow the proper procedures to handle the problem.
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Our agency specialises in professional placements (senior and specialist talent) and exclusive skills recruitment to a wide range of industries, including JSE’s top 100 companies, SMEs and the Public Sector. -- Patricia Koekemoer