Create a positive workplace culture
A positive workplace culture can encourage ethical and supportive behaviours while discouraging fraudulent or corrupt activities. Staff will be less able to rationalise fraudulent or corrupt activities where a positive workplace culture exists. A culture built on honesty, transparency and integrity is a key organisational strength that can serve to reduce the risk of fraud. If weak countermeasures are the fuel, a bad culture can be the spark that ignites fraud and corruption.
Why this countermeasure matters
A bad workplace culture can lead to:
- incentives that encourage fraudulent or corrupt behaviour
- ‘win at all costs’ attitudes that disregard risks or unethical behaviour
- tolerances to cutting corners or workarounds
- bullying behaviour or staff being coerced to 'get on board with the program'
- demoralised or resentful staff who may then rationalise fraudulent or corrupt actions.
How to put this countermeasure in place
Some ways to implement this countermeasure include:
- creating a rewards and recognition program
- setting up health and wellbeing training and initiatives
- promoting an inclusive and supportive workplace culture
- providing training on ethical conduct and decision-making
- establishing open and transparent communication and decision-making.
How to measure this countermeasure's effectiveness
Measure the effectiveness of this countermeasure by using the following methods:
- Undertake a staff census with focused questions relating to workplace culture.
- Review APSC Census Results if you are Commonwealth entity.
- Undertake regular interviews of staff.
- Complete quantitative and trend analysis of incidences of bullying and harassment, compensation, fraud and misconduct.
- Review statistics of proven internal fraud and misconduct investigations within your entity or a specific part of your entity.
- Review completion rates of relevant courses such as ethics training.
- Analyse rates of staff turnover.
This type of countermeasure is supported by:
Establish governance, accountability and oversight of processes by using delegations and requiring committees and project boards to oversee critical decisions and risk. Good governance, accountability and oversight increases transparency and reduces the opportunity for fraud.
Assess the integrity of new employees, contractors or third parties such as by having entry level checks, probationary periods, suitability assessments or security vetting.
Provide staff with adequate training to increase likelihood that correct and consistent processes and decisions will be applied.
Train and support staff to identify red flags to detect fraud, know what to do if they suspect fraud and know how to report it. Fraudsters can take advantage if staff and contractors are not aware of what constitutes fraud and corruption.
Provide help and support to customers, staff and third parties to help them follow correct processes and encourage them to comply with rules and processes and meet expectations.
Require and support staff and third parties to self-disclose gifts, benefits, incidents, mistakes and real or perceived conflicts of interest.
Put in place processes for staff or external parties to lodge tip-offs or Public Interest Disclosures.
These are processes for ending an individual’s or entity’s engagement or involvement with an organisation or program.