Bruce Goslin speaks to Spanish financial daily Cinco Días about strategies to prevent employees sabotaging companies from within.

A single individual can cause huge damage to any organization. The dramatic incident of Germanwings flight GWI9525, deliberately crashed by the copilot, Andreas Lubitz, illustrates the power that an employee can have over the operations of his or her company. Projecting this tragedy into the corporate world, any organization may face a situation where a saboteur’s actions can cause huge damage.

Bruce Goslin, executive managing director of K2 Intelligence in Madrid, advises companies on how to prevent employee misconduct and recommends that companies set up an anonymous hotline or a complaints line so that employees can communicate the incidents they observe. Goslin confirms that these may include a variety of cases, from sexual harassment and sabotage to changes in the attitude or behavior of co-workers.

What drives a professional to modify his or her behavior in the workplace?

According to Goslin: “Often it is resentment, because they do not feel appreciated or paid enough, or they are looking for revenge.” Companies should also keep in mind their control procedures for sensitive information: “Who has access to the confidential data, what protocols are to be followed. . . .We’ve seen cases, especially in family businesses, when an advisor or a trustworthy director left with strategic information that was then given to competitors.”

Goslin also advises that a company’s human resources department should be involved in employees’ career management, and annual personnel reviews should be instigated to evaluate performance.

A change in the level of productivity of an employee can be the first alarm. For this reason it is essential to have a control program measuring both performance and levels of satisfaction. “The fact is that employees often value autonomy and control over their work more than their salaries,” says Goslin, who advises recruiters to investigate in detail the professional backgrounds of candidates they plan to hire.

Download the full article. (Note: Cinco Días is a Spanish-language publication.)