Many companies overlook the issue of having a problem gambler in the office. This often seems like something distant. Besides, employees’ personal life typically shouldn’t affect their work lives. Yet, with gambling addiction, the situation is a bit different. When someone is a problem gambler, this serious issue will affect various aspects of their life, including their professional performance. What are three 3 Behavioral signs that someone may have a gambling problem?
From low team morale to missed deadlines and even material damages, gambling addiction in the office is a dangerous threat. That’s why everyone should know how to recognize the most common gambling addiction symptoms. You will likely see both physical and emotional indications of this disease in the person affected by it. Gambling addicts can seriously harm the company they work for, even if that’s not their ultimate goal.
Many aren’t aware of how negatively their addiction impacts their environment, co-workers, and business. So, it’s up to managers and colleagues to keep their eyes open and react if they notice any or all of these three signs. In this article, we will list the three most common signs that an employee has a gambling addiction. We’ll also provide you with some tips on how to protect your business and employees before it’s too late to react.
Problem gambling usually develops and intensifies over time. So, the person dealing with the issue will start demonstrating unusual and untypical behavior. Unless there’s another reason for all of this that has been communicated to you, the person may be focused on something else – betting and gambling.
For example, let’s say we’re talking about a good and dedicated worker who starts missing deadlines, failing to perform his duties, and doing an overall dissatisfactory job. Another is starting to go on more breaks than usual, being secretive with what they do during these breaks, and aggressive behavior are also common symptoms. These may often be accompanied by disheveled looks and appearance.
Naturally, these are common signs of addiction and other problems. Behavioral analytics can be used to identify unusual patterns. There may be other indications to believe they are related to gambling addiction specifically. People that gamble excessively often talk about the activity enthusiastically. They will share their experiences, possibly play in front of you if they don’t think they have a problem, and maybe will even invite you to join them. Alternatively, you may notice on their screens that they gamble during working hours.
Excessive gambling will drain even the biggest budget. That’s a fact. That’s why gambling addicts often start facing financial issues. They may even talk about these openly with their colleagues, and that’s a huge red flag. As money is the only way to keep doing what they want, problem gamblers may start borrowing money from coworkers. Alternatively, they may demand a raise that isn’t earned or may ask to get their salary early.
When all these symptoms appear, the situation is already serious, and damage has been done. However, as a colleague or a manager, you can still help by providing information. You can talk to the person in private and advise them to get professional help. Borrowing them money at that point would just feed their addiction.
The last and most obvious sign that your employee has a gambling addiction is when they start stealing money or stuff from the company. This symptom is a combination of the first two in a way. It includes unusual behavior for someone who would never harm your business. Plus, it also includes the financial issues and the endless need for money to feed the unhealthy gambling habit.
Depending on the circumstances, the employee may steal cash if they have access to money. They may commit fraud, initiate common embezzlement schemes, or steal items from other coworkers or even office materials that could be sold for cash. That’s why it’s always best to react fast if you suspect that one or more of your employees have a gambling problem. Otherwise, besides looking for a new employee, you may also be dealing with material losses.
Many businesses these days make the mistake of dealing with problem gamblers at the office when the issue is already there. In the 21st century, when remote gambling and betting are closer than ever, the smartest thing you can do is to be proactive. While you can’t predict or fully control employee behavior, some steps help your case.
First, it’s advisable to have proper policy statements in place. Not many companies have gambling incorporated into their office policies. This is a mistake that you shouldn’t make. Instead, make sure that everyone understands that they can’t gamble during working hours. Go a step further and mention that there is no acceptable use of the office internet and phone lines for gambling activities is prohibited, as well.
Second, provide awareness training and financial counseling if you can afford it. This may seem like an expensive measure but helping your employees and protecting your business makes it worthwhile in the long run. Awareness training would help gambling addicts and their colleagues recognize such a problem at the office. Financial counseling will benefit problem gamblers with money issues and any other employee facing such a burden.
Finally, it’s essential to monitor your company’s money stream and properties. A quality money monitoring system will help you spot any fraud or embezzlement as early as possible. This way, even if the situation escalates and the gambling addicts in your office start stealing from you, you won’t be the last one to find out.
Dealing with gambling addiction at the office isn’t easy for everyone involved. Managers must protect the company’s best interests while using interpersonal communication to provide the necessary help to employees. Colleagues may also be concerned for their team members, leading to increased stress levels and an overall bad working atmosphere.
That’s why it’s essential to know how to recognize the early signs of problem gambling. It’s equally important to understand how to react when you suspect or know that the issue is real. Hopefully, our guidance and tips will help you navigate the storm in a way that would be the least harmful for everyone.