It’s never a nice thought to think that your own employees might be stealing from you. But it’s a reality that thousands of businesses have to face every year. And it’s something that creates a lot of pain and heartache for all those involved.
According to a survey by Jack L. Hayes International, about one in every forty employees was caught stealing by their employer. And that’s just in 2012 alone. Clearly, it’s a big problem and one that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
With that said, there are things that employers can do to reduce employee theft. Here’s how.
Build Up Relationships With Your Employees
This might not seem like an obvious way to lessen the theft in your organisation. But building close relationships with your employees is one of your best defenses. It’s much harder for an employee, from a psychological perspective, to steal from an employer they know and respect.
Employees often steal because of financial difficulties. With a closer relationship with your employees, you’re in a position to offer help. Perhaps you could offer extra overtime hours to an employee, or give them discounted stock that isn’t going to sell.
Weed Out The High-Risk Employees
The hiring process is central to the success of many companies, not least because companies are dependent on the quality of their staff. Sometimes, a potential hire can look good on paper, but they may be hiding a secret from you. If an employee has a drug addiction, then it’s more likely that they will steal from you to feed that addiction. That’s why so many employers are now using drug test kits to make sure their employees are clean. If they’re not, they’re likely to be less productive at work, and may present a risk to the business’s finances.
Keep A Watchful Eye
There’s a reason that CCTV is both inside and outside of stores. People are a lot less likely to steal if they know that they’re being watched.
Make sure that you keep cameras in inconspicuous areas, including any rear loading areas as well as storage rooms. CCTV these days is extremely effective and high resolution. Some even come with software that automatically identifies employees from their faces.
Use The Buddy System
When is theft most likely to occur? Well, if you own a traditional shop, it’s at closing time. When the cash comes to be counted at the of the day, lone employees will take their chances.
This is why so many shops use a buddy system when opening and closing the store. Ideally, you’d pair people who aren’t close friends, so that one can monitor the other, and there’s less chance they’ll cooperate.
Have A Confidential Whistleblower Line
Not all employees are out to steal from you. The vast majority of your workers consider stealing from the company abhorrent. Many of them will come forward to report a theft if their identity is protected. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a whistleblower line to you directly.