Jeremy Clopton, CFE, CPA, ACDA, CIDA
Owner, What's Your SQ
There has been no shortage of discussion around the conflict surrounding multiple generations in the workforce. Though much of this has been reactionary and focused on the negative aspects of generations, the tides seem to be turning. More and more companies are talking about the benefits of the various generations they have in their workforce. The transition to the positive discussion could happen much quicker, in my opinion, and there are benefits to doing so. For fraud examiners specifically, here are three reasons to engage multiple generations in your workforce and the resulting benefits.
- Effective fraud prevention requires creativity
Fraud prevention should be top of mind for most companies. In order to effectively prevent fraud, it takes creativity to assess all of the potential fraud risks to which a company may be vulnerable. Each of the generations in your workforce is going to bring a slightly, sometimes drastically, different perspective to the conversation. Take advantage of these various perspectives to most effectively assess your fraud risk and put protective measures in place to respond to those risks. The younger generations likely don’t know how “you’ve always done things” and that is quite valuable in this exercise.
- More experienced generations are about to retire
Companies always face the risk of losing institutional knowledge when experienced employees retire. With the advances in technology and the focus companies have put on fraud risk in recent decades, this seems to be a higher risk than before. One way to address this risk is to pair experienced generations with less experienced generations as a way to transfer institutional knowledge and help younger examiners learn the nuances and subtleties that come with years of experience.
- Technology isn’t going away
Despite the hopes and desires of some to the contrary, technology is here to stay. As it relates to fraud detection and prevention, it is still coming, and emerging technologies are going to be transformational when they are implemented. To effectively implement these new technologies, companies will need a mix of individuals — some that are experienced fraud examiners and some that are comfortable using emerging technologies. The younger employees in the workforce, including those about to enter the workforce, are digital natives and are generally adept at using technology for a variety of tasks. Encouraging these individuals to apply technology in the areas of fraud detection and prevention can help advance a company’s sophistication. However, they will need the knowledge of a fraud examiner with experience to understand the context in which to apply the technology.
These are only three of many reasons you should be engaging multiple generations in the workforce. Simply put, it’s time to stop focusing on the conflict and negatives the generations cause. We need to embrace the diversity in thoughts, opinions and perspectives the generations bring and the benefits we can reap.