Protecting Employee Productivity from the Effects of Identity Theft


As a business owner, you need to be very sensitive to every aspect of employee productivity and the things that can negatively affect productivity. While we are all aware of the negative impact bad morale can have on productivity and how much a lack of proper equipment can slow employee progress, most business owners do not give much thought to how identity theft can affect productivity and what can be done to prevent it.

Restoring An Identity

As an employer, you store a great deal of personal data about your employees. From social security numbers to bank account information and health profiles, an employer has plenty of information criminals would be interested in.

It takes the average identity theft victim 200 hours to recover their identity and wash away the damage the criminal has caused. Because most of those hours need to be spent during standard working hours, an employer would lose $4,000.00 of productivity for an employee making $20.00 per hour.

Faith In The Company

Turnover is a big problem in the corporate world, especially for small businesses. A company that does not take the necessary steps to secure sensitive employee data could find itself experiencing significant turnover, even from employees who are not affected.

Many people go into a preemptive security mode when they find out that someone close to them has had an issue with identity theft. While leaving a company does not mean that an employee’s data is going to be erased from their system, many people feel that leaving a company that cannot secure employee data is safer than adding new data to an exposed profile.

Preventing Identity Theft

It is important for employees to understand that preventing identity theft is a cooperative effort with their employer. Employees should be mindful of policies covering the use of the Internet and opening attachments to emails. Those policies are created to prevent breaches in the company’s online security system and violating those policies invites criminals into your business.

Businesses need to work with online security experts to learn how to limit access to their internal network through the Internet, but still allowing for the smooth swapping of information that businesses need. Each Internet security program should be customized to fit the needs of each individual business. An Internet security system should be reviewed and updated at least once a year to keep up with changes in security concerns.

As a business owner, it is your job to consider everything that can have a negative and positive effect on employee productivity. When employees feel like their personal information is not safe with their company, that can affect productivity and create turnover. When an employee’s identification has been compromised, it can take hundreds of work hours to correct that situation.

Companies need to invest in identity theft prevention programs that include strong Internet security policies. The more a company invests in the security of its employees and employee information, the lower the costs of doing business will become for that company.