Maya complained to her employer about the new sales joinee who passed a lewd remark at her near the watercooler area.
However, the employer continued to ignore these claims given that the apparent harasser is in the sales team and it would be too costly to replace him. Consequently, the aggressive remarks continued targeting all the female employees in isolated areas like common washroom, parking, etc. After a couple of weeks an employer claimed that she was assaulted on the way to a client meeting by the same salesman at her company. She produced evidence of his fingerprints and hair sample.
Following which the employer was charged with negligent retention because he did not investigate by asking the employee originally if allegations were true and intervening properly. Thus, negligent retention refers to an employer’s continued employment of an unfit individual. It comes in the same bracket as negligent hiring, except it refers to employees who currently work for you rather than those you are thinking of hiring.
While negligent retention can jeopardise the safety of a company’s employees, it can also jeopardise its financial profitability. For instance, if an employer is informed by the Human Resources that an employee in accounting did not complete all her required ICAI levels but the employer chooses to turn a blind eye on all this information because the employee happens to be a family friend, then this is a case of negligent hiring.
In due course it is revealed that certain clients did not receive their checks which has resulted in numerous accounting fee, being paid from the Research and Development fund, which will in turn delay the launch of a new product.
With the evolving nature of criminal activities, employers have to realise that their job does not end at hiring and conducting pre-employment screening. They have to be on guard for negligent retention as well, especially in the case of technology and finance departments. And if the employer despite having knowledge that an employee is unqualified to perform in their current job role, let them work in the position anyway is against the ethics of an organisation.
In general circumstance, what generally erodes an employee’s behaviour is;
- post clearing pre-employment screening, they let their guard down
- a pressing financial urgency
- a recent criminal act or violation
- a spy indulging in data theft
- or a scam artist redirecting your clientele to a competitor
As the human mind cannot be measured to accuracy, it can nevertheless be measured from time to time with the help of ongoing background screening – which helps in mitigating recurring risks associated with changes in employee status and position.
An ongoing background screening program ensures consistency in in mitigating unnecessary risks. Many organisations and institutions already screen their employees annually as it helps in creating a consistent and secure workforce.
Ongoing background screening manages risk via regular periodic checks on employees for the duration of their employment at a firm. Most employers make the mistake of thinking that because an employee got through a pre-employment background screening with flying colours when he or she joined the company, several years down the line everything will still be the same.
For one, the employer knows what the situation with the employees is at all times. Often changes in the circumstances of an employee’s life can lead him/her to take some action that could be detrimental to the interests of the company in general.
For example, fraud is often committed by disgruntled employees – it could be stolen information, property or identity. There is absolutely no guarantee that an employee who joins a company will always have a clean background all through his or her employment period. Regular (mostly annual) post-hire background checks are a sure shot way to gain insight in the change, if any, in the employee’s’ status that may affect the company.
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