August 15th, 2016 | Sterling

3 Tips to Increasing Safety at Work

3 Tips to Increasing Safety at Work

Every morning, right as I arrive to work, I have a couple of small rituals. I dock my laptop, grab a cup of coffee (adding a splash of hazelnut creamer) and spend five minutes quietly prepping for the day ahead. Similarly, before I leave work each day, I tidy my desk, prioritize my next day’s task-list and wave goodnight to my coworkers on the way to my car. Each one of these actions gives me a sense of peace; a sense of familiar calmness and comfort in knowing no matter what the day throws at me I have constant check-ins making me feel at home.

In fact, it is crucial that my workplace offers a feeling of safety and security because I spend a lot of time here. As it turns out, I’m not alone in that feeling. According to our latest white paper, “Employment Background Checks: Survey of American Citizens,” conducted in collaboration with Kelton Research, 81% of Americans believe that feeling safe at all times is their right and that the workplace is one of the top two locations where they expect to feel safe, right behind their doctor’s office.

This is not only true of employees wanting to feel safe in the workplace, but also for their customers. The research also found that 90% of Americans can think of at least one profession for which they’d only interact with someone whose background has been verified. I find this information incredibly fascinating because it highlights just how crucial safety is not only to your current employees, but your ability to attract and retain high-performance talent within your industry.

Here are three tips to help you increase safety in the workplace:

  1. Standardize Your Background Screening Practices: Sit down with your team and take a look at your background screening practices. How are they currently run and is there anything that you want to change about them? Many of our clients have a very specific set of criteria they need in order for the search to meet their standards. Not only does this help set the bar within an organization, but it also creates an environment of consistency, potentially alleviating lawsuits down the road.
  2. Encourage Healthy Conflict: We’ve all been in meetings and on e-mail threads with passive aggressive or hostile individuals. It’s not fun for anyone and can quickly spiral out of control. In my experience, I found one tool to work really well – healthy conflict. When you’re onboarding a new employee, you have the opportunity to correctly teach him or her how to effectively deal with issues as they arise (and oftentimes those issues can be larger than simply disliking someone and could include offenses such as fraud, criminal activity or other white collar crime). Once you implement a new method of transparency, and encourage all employees to be open without retaliation, the safety at your organization will begin to rise.
  3. Annual Background Rescreening: Much like drug tests, background screening reports are only a quick snapshot in time. What shows up as a crystal-clear report one day could be littered with infractions and felonies the next. That is not said to scare you, but simply to be aware that an employee’s criminal record could change overnight. It is not always likely that an employee will go out of their way to report a wrongdoing on their behalf, even if mandated by company policy. To ensure the safest workplace possible, we recommended at the very minimum an annual rescreen.

With technology at our fingertips, we have immediate access to evolving news stories on a regular basis. We all too often hear stories where workplace safety was compromised that might have been prevented in the first place. Instead of accepting this as the new norm, it’s crucial to take steps protecting our employees and ourselves from any unnecessary harm along the way.

See what your future employees really think when it comes to background screening by reading our full-report here.

Employment Background Checks: Survey of American Citizens

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.