Are traditional approaches to identifying and addressing workplace misconduct simply unable to deal with the complexities of mitigating misbehavior in the modern workplace? According to Chapter 2 of the Enterprise Conduct and Risk Report (ECR Report), the answer appears to be a resounding “yes.”

Chapter 1 of the ECR Report revealed that many employees feel a lack of confidence in their HR department, with almost 3 in 10 believing HR is afraid to take action. A third of employee respondents even said they feel HR is unreliable.

What about from the HR perspective? Why is HR often failing to address serious issues like pedophilia, non-employees eavesdropping, or the fact that company channels are used to buy drugs? 

The ECR Report revealed that over one-fifth of HR professionals were simply uncomfortable taking action. This shows a startling lack of respect for the employee and a worrying lack of responsibility to protect the company.

HR cited numerous reasons for their hesitancy to take action:

No Excuse for Inaction

As laws protecting employee rights constantly evolve, HR professionals may err on the side of caution to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits. Although this goes some way to explain HR’s hesitancy to address misconduct, the financial repercussions and media fallout from a victimized employee filing a lawsuit, damaging the brand on social media, or stealing proprietary information, is considerably worse. 

Whether through negligence, a refusal to admit liability, or simply because they’re too busy, a failure to address workplace misconduct and insider threats poses serious risks to business continuity. Sticking one’s head in the sand is never an advisable approach.

If HR isn’t stepping up to address misconduct, then the executive team needs to hold HR accountable so they aren’t implicated by the press, shareholders, or a court of law. Ignorance is no defense. 

Every Inaction Has a Reaction

If employees feel their misconduct complaints and concerns are falling on deaf ears and that their cries for help are not being addressed, they will become flight risks. 

According to the study, HR respondents seem to know that employees feel disenfranchised and are actively job hunting while working from home. In fact, more than two-fifths of HR respondents (43%) admit that they are aware of more employees exploring other opportunities during the pandemic.

As recruitment challenges are exacerbated during the pandemic, employee flight risk can significantly impact business continuity and revenue growth.

In fact, as the average cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary, employee churn is costing U.S. companies, alone, around US$1 trillion dollars per year.

Workplace misconduct, whether online or in person, is unacceptable, with real-world repercussions. The financial implications to negative press coverage, brand damage, and subsequent executive dismissals can surpass that of even the most expensive regulatory fine.

Behavox Conduct can help protect your organisation from a company-ending crisis.

Download the second instalment of the ECR Report here.

Watch the video below to discover the Top 10 findings from the ECR Report.