Posts Tagged ‘Workplace Investigations’

One Man’s Garbage is an Investigator’s Treasure

July 16th, 2012 Comments off

As the summer haze continues, so does the exertion and in most organizations the volume escalates in terms of demand.  With the record breaking temperatures we are experiencing this year, we will no doubt see a much greater incentive (air conditioned or not) to be away from work.  It’s as accurate as any formula; as the temperature raises the motivation to produce for the organization declines, and quite often as an addendum the projects at the homestead amplify, whether it is in the category of a want, or a need.

This formula was put on trial recently in a case we investigated through surveillance involving a man nearing retirement at a manufacturing facility.  The individual had complained of the heat and that the workload was becoming too taxing on his almost 60 year old body, as a result the organization carried out the morally correct decision and allowed the individual a lighter load in terms of his required duties.  Although the organization offered what would be considered an ethically correct gesture to the man their return was less than equated; in fact the opportunist was quick to analyze their kindness for weakness and continued to push for progressively lighter duties as the weeks went on.  It got to the point where the individual just flat out told the HR department that he needed time off and regardless of the lessened duties they offered they were simply not enough to allow his tired body the rest it needed.  It was clear that his plan was working and soon he would have his wish of a workless summer.

Our investigations branch was contacted to look further into this matter as they could now articulate a more ‘drastic’ measure to combat this issue.  We were sent some images of this individual in his workplace attempting to complete his duties.  At first glance it was clear this individual was either an Oscar worthy actor or he was expeditiously in need of an ambulance.

We decided we would begin surveillance as he departed the facility on his last day of work before his self-inflicted vacation.  Like the famous prose “dance as though nobody is watching”; that is exactly what this individual did.  As he was walking out of the building dependent on his cane he pulled his greatest Keyser Soze impression as the ‘necessary’ cane was quickly hoisted over his shoulder and the only weight that laboured his leg was the skip in his step as he demonstrated his victory walk to his SUV.  We could now clearly see his true intention; the only thing to do now was gather further evidence of his drastic embellishment.  As surveillance continued on his drive home we noticed him stopping at the side of the road; it turns out a shelving unit had caught his eye.  He proceeded to lift the unit in the most un-ergonomically correct way possible as he held his keys in his mouth he maneuvered the newly found treasure deep into the back of his Rav 4.

The next day we continued the surveillance to maintain the continuity of this workplace investigation.  As the sun rose, so did our evidence; it turns out spring cleaning was on his list of things to.  He began to load up his truck with garbage from his garage.  As the surveillance continued we followed him to the dump as we witnessed him toss the tires as though he was throwing a discus in the Olympics, and yes with one hand.  It was clear that either he had found a fountain of youth in the city dump or the only part of him that was fatigued at work was his integrity.

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Proactively Combating Our Global Village

June 3rd, 2011 Comments off

Espionage and client theft have almost become exclusive to the corporate world due to the fact that there are far greater profits and revenue to be made from the private sector.  Companies can no longer afford to simply react; to react would mean that the act (or damage) has already occurred.  With technology continuously advancing, a proactive stance must be taken in terms of workplace investigations to avoid instant and catastrophic losses.

We live in a world today where security has become more of a privilege than a right.  The usual urban Police Service has one officer per 600 members of the community on average, a term more commonly known as ‘cop to pop’. With that said the police simply don’t have the resources to provide an adequate workplace investigation within the corporate world.  What they do have time for however; is to collect the evidence that would illustrate a thorough investigation leading to a satisfying conclusion.

There is no greater asset to a company than its personnel.  This of course also means that they can quickly become the organization’s worst enemy.  A disgruntled employee can be as equally damaging as a dishonest one, leading to big losses through acts such as complacency or even sabotage.  In the majority of these cases the culprit will broadcast their accomplishment to gain recognition with fellow employees as a badge of honor.  It is these cases where an investigator within the workplace can either prevent the incident or determine the guilty party.

Furthermore with the corporate world becoming more of a global community many employees are now performing their duties away from the office or even at home.  With the dependence on more sales and new clients for business growth and to remain competitive, employees are increasingly trusted to be completing their tasks on their own in the most productive manor.  It is imperative that the organization’s resources are utilized to their full extent and employees are in fact focusing on the assigned task.  We need to make certain that people keep moving in positive directions when the boss is not present.

The general mood throughout a work environment can and will greatly impact the productivity of the organization.  More often than not, management is the last to know what the actual mood on the floor is.  It is this late notification that can be detrimental when it comes to major issues and can commonly lead to low morale within the workplace or even labour disputes.  To know these issues ahead of time can be extremely advantageous to the administration.

With the phenomenon of social media such as Facebook or Twitter, alliances are much easier to form; whether they are at the same location or remotely, everyone is simply a message away.  The viral trend known as flash mobs are predominantly formed via Twitter; this a very entertaining use of the social media using a series of complex choreography to produce a unified dance.  This same type of application is also used to calculate a variety of other activities with much less positive intentions or motives.  The bottom line is that a group of people determined to make a point or cause destruction using mob mentality tactics, no longer need to be in the same room, country or continent, nor do they need to have ever met at all.

Management becoming proactive and being aware of all issues and concerns is the best answer to avoid these problems.  Deterrence, detection, and prevention are essential in order for an organization to be prosperous and productive within this progressively competitive business world.

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