How to Stop Your Staff from Stealing

How to Stop Your Staff from Stealing
June 27 09:42 2017 Print This Article

As much as we would want to believe that everyone would do their jobs honestly, we can’t avoid the fact that some employees would just do the exact opposite. There have been a lot of stories where business owners discover their trusted staff stealing. An Accounting and Management Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, Tatiana Sandino, estimates that US businesses’ losses caused by employee theft can reach as high as $200 annually. Also, Jack L. Hayes International conducted a retail theft survey and found that in 2012 employees steal 5.5 times more than shoplifters.  This is a serious threat to a business’ health as it has direct effects to the bottom line. Below is a list of tips that might help you protect your business from damages caused by employee theft.

Connect With Your Employees

Little could be done to change a staff’s mind if it’s already set on stealing. It would be better to prevent them from thinking about it. It is more difficult to steal from someone you feel have already built a relationship with you. Also, getting to know your employees would keep you aware of their situations. Know if your employees are experiencing financial difficulties and other stressful situations that might provoke them to steal. You might be able to extend some help that may remove stealing as an option. Letting your employees feel that you care may increase employee loyalty and lessen employee theft.

Establish an Employee Tip Line

A lot of times other employees learn about other staffs stealing but they hesitate on reporting it. Most of these employees don’t report because they fear the consequences of being part the scenario. Establish a channel where employees can confidentially report behavioral issues at work. You may also consider offering rewards to employees who report instances of employee theft. The idea alone of everyone is watching out for theft may discourage some employees from stealing. You may want to try having a specific email address for tips. This way they don’t have to be physically present when sending a report.

Strengthen Your Inventory System

Your products are among the most valuable resources in your business. Having them in check should be a priority. Establish a line between receiving, store keeping, and shipping functions. Tasks for physical inventories should not be done by anyone who has responsibilities in inventory records. This should maintain check and balance in your process. Also consider some security devices to monitor your merchandise around the clock.

Keep a Virtual Eye on Employees

This is probably the most efficient way of preventing employee theft. Identify the most valuable and vulnerable resources in your business and set up a video surveillance system around them. The cash registrar, loading areas, and storage rooms should be among your priority areas. A surveillance system would be a good deterrent for employee theft. Employees would be less likely to steal if they know that high-definition cameras are around and can clearly identify thieves.  Assign surveillance system access to a limited number of staffs to avoid tempering. Also, consider having different degrees of system access.

A Point of Sale Reporting System

Not all thefts are done physically. Our dependence on technology has paved way for virtual theft through fraudulent activities. Get yourself a system that would flag potential fraudulent transactions. These transactions could include excessive refunds or voids. Also don’t forget to check excessive transactions beyond store hours. Your POS system can be used with your video surveillance system to review daily operations. Use them to identify potential areas for consideration that you may have overlooked. If you think you’ve found some, immediately look into it further to avoid breaches in the future.

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Laura McKim
Laura McKim

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