Employment Screening and a Culture of Complacency

The same culture of complacency that was said to prevail at BP, Transocean, and Halliburton as they worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling rig is a culture that exists inside far too many companies. And while the results of complacency in your organization might not be as dramatic as eleven lives lost and four million barrels of oil spilling into the ocean, your version of the story can be just as serious on its own scale.

Complacency is a dangerous culture that permeates beyond the walls of mega corporations and extends into the reaches of every day companies and institutions. The March 2012 issue of Risk Management Magazine devoted an entire 4-page article to the topic of complacency. Defined as “’self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies,” complacency stems from a so called “confirmation bias,” which is the tendency to look for or interpret information in a way that confirms currently held beliefs. It can also be attributed to being overly-familiar with a situation.

Snapping Your Fingers Won’t Keep the Tigers Away

employment screening and complacency

We’ve all heard the story, in one form or another, about the kid who snaps his fingers compulsively. The doctor asks him why, and he says it’s to keep the tigers away. “But there aren’t any tigers in North America,” the doctor says. And the kids responds, “See! It works.”

Among the many points this story can illustrate, one point stands out: When we believe something, we tend to not look at those things that might make us behave otherwise. Never mind that there aren’t any tigers in North America because snapping his fingers makes the kid feel better! Hard to argue with that.

In a similar way, people operating in a culture of complacency seem to have the belief that “there are no tigers ready to pounce on our organization so why should we snap our fingers?” Or, “There may be risks out there but we haven’t experienced their impact yet so why should we do anything?”

In a culture of complacency individuals inside the organization look past risks. They read headlines featuring the stories other companies or institutions scared by the findings of employee embezzlement, workplace violence, theft, high turnover, or worse… and think to themselves, “Wow. Stinks to be that company. Things like that don’t happen to us, thank goodness.”

Sound painfully familiar?

Kick Complacency to the Curb

People are the driving force behind the safety, quality, and productivity of your company. As such, you cannot afford to allow complacency to take hold. Employment screening can lessen your risks and improve your chances of hiring the right people, right off the bat. And while there will always been some level of “residual risk” that we must accept, a complete risk management program and can help mitigate the risks that threaten your entire organization.

When it comes to hiring, employment screening is a risk management strategy designed to reduce the risks your organization faces in relation to their employees. And let’s face it: just about any risk you can imagine starts and ends with people.

Hire the right people and your risks are measurably less. Hire the wrong people, and you’ll open the floodgates to a plethora of problems.

Let us help you take the first step: Request a Free Employment Screening Risk Assessment


Employment screening risk assessment

About MichaelGaul

Michael is a results-oriented marketing executive with over two decades of experience in employment screening, physical security, and business process management. Michael has deep experience in human capital risk management and a passion for educating business leaders and HR professionals on strategies that tangibly protect their interests. Michael serves on the Board of the Secure Cash and Transport Association (SCTA) and is a member of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), and the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS).
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