Online gambling is now the dominant form in the UK, with statistics showing 24 million people gambling at least once a month. A recent report by Reed in Partnership stated 72% of adults thought “business should be concerned about gambling”.
We want to encourage disclosure by using our basic people management skills of observing, noticing and using common sense to think there may be a conversation needed.
Learn to recognise the warning signs.
Training can help everyone be aware of the trademark behaviour of those who may have a gambling problem, such as asking for advances in their pay, borrowing money from colleagues, arguing about money. Highly competitive and ‘workaholic’ personalities are seen to be at higher risk.
What should I do when someone opens up to me?
Be human, put the notebook down and just listen. Make time. It’s ok to say you need a moment to rearrange other commitments. Some organisations have teams of specially trained Wellbeing Champions, encouraging an environment where it’s ok to share.
The Gamban site give stark figures, stating 23% of adults undergoing treatment for gambling problems admitted to committing fraud or some other financial crime to secure money for their habit. In many cases, this takes the form of theft or embezzlement from their employer.
Addiction of any kind needs to be treated as a wellbeing issue. Compulsive gambling may be associated with bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also some medication has been shown to have a rare side effect resulting in compulsive behaviours, including gambling.
What can I do to minimise the risk and protect both my employees and my business?
Policy: Set boundaries by creating and making known a clear, concrete policy against gambling of any sort in the workplace.
Culture: Create a culture where problem sharing is made easier. Simply asking if everything is ok is a start. Being non-judgmental and thanking people for their honesty in opening up.
Divide Responsibility: Share financial responsibilities between several people, reducing the risk of having one individual with access to company funds and making it easier to detect fraud or any other suspicious activity through sign off processes and regular audits.
Where can you find more information and ideas for creating a sharing culture?
If you would like to learn more about safeguarding and KnowledgeBrief’s policies and procedures for reporting and prevention, please contact us.
If you are interested in contributing to the newsletter with a brief piece on how your workplace talks these issues, case studies or your own experience in relation to safeguarding, please let us know. We would love to hear your story.