5 Startling Facts About Human Capital Risk

By Lowers & Associates,

Human Capital Risks

People are often referred to as the greatest asset of an organization. While this may be true for your organization, the greater truth is, people also represent an organization’s greatest risks. The actions, inactions, and mere presence or influence of people, present a potential for loss across the spectrum of business activities.

Perhaps no source of risk is more perplexing, hurtful, and damaging than those caused by intentional harmful acts. Consider just a handful of startling facts:

1. 30% of business failures are due to employee theft.

Employee theft costs businesses an estimated $50 billion a year and is rising at a rate of 15 percent per year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department and the American Management Association say that 30 percent of new business failures are due to employee theft and it is believed that 75% of employees steal from their employers at least once. (source)

2. Organizations lose 5% of revenue to ‘fraud from within.’

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), occupational fraud is fraud committed against the organization by its own officers, directors, or employees–an attack against the organization from within, by the very people who were entrusted to protect its assets and resources. In its 2018 Report to the Nations, the ACFE projects that organizations lose 5% of their annual revenue to fraud. Of these cases of fraud, corruption represents one of the most significant fraud risks for organizations, with 70% of such cases perpetrated by someone in a position of authority (managers and owner/executives).

3. Workplace violence is the fastest-growing category of murder in the U.S.

According to OSHA, every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. The Center for Applied Learning reports that workplace violence incidents have tripled in the last decade and is now the fastest-growing category of murder in the United States. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016), fatal work injuries involving violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased by 163 cases to 866 in 2016; workplace homicides increased by 83 cases to 500 in 2016; and workplace suicides increased by 62 to 291. This is the highest homicide figure since 2010 and the most suicides since data collection began in 1992.

4. One in five American adults have experienced sexual harassment at work.

A CNBC survey found one-fifth of American adults have experienced sexual harassment at work. By age group, 16 percent of those ages 18 to 34 said they have been victims, while 25 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds say they have been. What’s more, according to a 2003 EEOC study, 75 percent of employees who spoke out against workplace mistreatment faced some form of retaliation.

5. 80% of active shooter incidents occur in the workplace.

The Center for Applied Learning reports active shooter incidents tripled in the last eight years, with an event occurring in the U.S. once every three weeks; furthermore, workers are now 18 times more likely to encounter workplace violence and an active shooter situation than a fire. According to FBI statistics, of 160 active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013, over 80 percent (132) occurred at work.

Where there are people, there are risks. The actions taken by employees and even subcontractors representing your organization have a direct impact on the productivity, safety, and success of your organization. When those actions turn bad, either through negligence or intentional acts, the damage to people, brands, and profits can be significant. What are you doing to identify, prepare for, and mitigate your human capital risks?

  Category: Risk Management
  Comments: Comments Off on 5 Startling Facts About Human Capital Risk

Respondeat Superior and Negligent Hiring: Exposed if Within, Exposed if Without

By Vince Pascarella,

background screening

negligent hiring warning signAn employer is exposed to risk caused by the conduct of an employee whether or not such conduct is within the course and scope of the employee’s employment. Focusing your organization’s human capital risk mitigation measures on only one of these areas of potential exposure may be hazardous to the financial and reputational health of your organization.

Respondeat Superior

Respondeat superior is a general legal liability doctrine that holds an employer responsible for a negligent act or omission of an employee acting within the course and scope of employment. This is a vicarious theory of liability, meaning there needn’t be a finding of any improper action by the employer. The reasonableness of an employer’s actions (e.g., its hiring, supervision and retention of an employee) is irrelevant and provides no basis for the avoidance of employer liability for the acts of an employee. However, in order for the employer to be found liable the complainant must prove the employee acted within the course and scope of employment. … Continue reading

  Category: Employment Screening
  Comments: Comments Off on Respondeat Superior and Negligent Hiring: Exposed if Within, Exposed if Without

Unprecedented Uncertainty Drives Broader Focus on Risk Management

By Lowers & Associates,

avoidable risk

risk managementUncertainty is and always has been the issue of contention for risk managers. But the degree and range of global uncertainty faced by organizations around the world is truly unprecedented. Events that have occurred since the 2001 terrorist attacks point to levels and areas of risk many had never before imagined.  Natural disasters, acts of terror, corporate governance scandals, the dot-com collapse, the housing bubble burst—events like these and the uncertainty they have injected into the world have caused organizations to place a greater and broader emphasis on risk management.

More than ever, the focus is on being proactive, instead of reactive. … Continue reading

  Category: Risk Management
  Comments: Comments Off on Unprecedented Uncertainty Drives Broader Focus on Risk Management

Managing Emerging Risks in the Face of Global Uncertainty

By Lowers & Associates,

global uncertaintyEmerging risks—both new risks and familiar risks in unfamiliar conditions—have taken on new meaning and importance in today’s increasingly uncertain world.  As the unimaginable global impact of events such as the euro crisis, the subprime mortgage crisis, the tsunami in Japan, the Arab spring uprisings, Hurricane Sandy, flooding in Thailand, and other events caused damage beyond what could have been predicted, emerging risks have earned the attention of executives and board members in corporations around the world. … Continue reading

  Category: Risk Management
  Comments: Comments Off on Managing Emerging Risks in the Face of Global Uncertainty

The Year of Uncertainty

By Michael Gaul,

managing uncertainty

Risk Management in 2013

Headlines this time of year tend to center on predictions for the coming year and reflections on the year past.  An unprecedented number of risks face managers in the year ahead, yet one theme prevails in our minds as defining the challenge for risk managers in 2013: Uncertainty.

Uncertainty is the new normal.

Companies face a rapid rate of change across all dimensions of business, and risks that many never imagined have entered the realm of possibility for organizations. It would be difficult for any company to have predicted or planned for the truly global impacts of such seemingly ‘local’ events including the euro crisis, the subprime mortgage crisis, the tsunami in Japan, the Arab spring uprisings, Hurricane Sandy, flooding in Thailand… and the list goes on.

In today’s hyper-connected world, the damage caused by even “small” problems can far exceed expectations.

A recent Fortune magazine article focused on the issue of uncertainty as it relates to policymaking, and labeled uncertainty as “business’s real problem.”  The author explains that uncertainty creates a pattern of “paralysis” in which policymakers put decision-making on hold and business leaders are left without a predictable set of rules by which to make decisions.

Indeed, unnerving might be a better label for the environment we face.

… Continue reading

  Category: Risk Management
  Comments: Comments Off on The Year of Uncertainty