Learning that a trustworthy employee is committing theft in the workplace can be a shameful experience. Initially, you may feel like turning a blind eye or reacting aggressively. Neither is a good response. Looking the other way encourages continuous thievery, not just with the thief but with the rest of your staff. Furthermore, a violent reaction could get you into legal consequences.
Processing and implementing security measures against theft before it takes place is the best alternative.
Employee theft is high-priced to companies. According to Statisticbrain:-
- Employees steal $50 billion from U.S. businesses each year
- Businesses lose 7% of annual revenue to theft or fraud
- 75% of employees have stolen at least once from their employer
- 33% of business bankruptcies are caused by employee theft.
An employee can commit theft with a variety of methods:
- Stealing cash
- Using company credit cards for personal purchases and making unauthorized payments for personal use.
- Stealing corporate checks and forging signatures.
- Stealing personal belongings of a colleague or making unauthorized use of them.
The theft can be more sophisticated:- Creation of fabricated vendors or employees
- Making personal deals on behalf of the company to vendors and outside contractors.
- Subordinates coerced into playing along for the thievery.
1. Take measures to Safeguard your Property and your employees
Restrict access to keys, data, stock, and supplies.
Set passwords and change them often. Although cash is the easiest to steal, losses to inventory for sale can be immense if someone can get access. Include what not to do for employees so that there are no grey areas especially related to security practices.
Business identity theft, particularly, is a thriving fear among employers.
2. Create clear-cut procedures and implement them
Your staff must be aware of what to anticipate in their jobs.
You must create an ambiance of efficiency that will help you track all business proceedings. For example:-
- Number all documents and forms, and keep track of their use.
- Make sure you have the proper documents to ensure that you are paying a bill for the right sum and to the right person.
3. Keep Track of Inventory
Your inventory of supplies is unprotected from thievery due to open-access. It might not seem like it’s worth keeping track of small items, but theft will eventually pile up. For example, computer hard drives are super expensive.
Your product inventory should be counted (inventoried). Particularly, keep closer track of high-value items and document disposal of all outdated, battered, or low-selling products.
Perform periodic inventory checks against physical inventory and establish policies to ensure proper checks are performed.
4. Split-Up Duties
You should be most concerned about those people who do your accounting and who manage inventory. Set up two-step processes and then split the steps between two people.
For example, the person who does your bank balancing should not be the person paying the bills. Or, the person who takes in products for sale should not be the one who decides if an item is to be scrapped.
5. Set up Monitoring and reporting channels
Set up CCTV cameras to monitor all the activities in your office premises. This will also inflict fear among culprits or potential thieves and prevent theft from taking place.
However, theft doesn’t always take place visually and in terms of physical objects. Theft also includes fabrication of signatures and unauthorized use of company resources or belongings of other employees. Cameras don’t always catch everything, but the eyes and brains do. Encourage your employees to come forward and report if they witness any kind of thievery.
Employees often fear persecution for voicing their concerns. Implement Your Safe Hub in your organization for reporting purposes, a special communication channel that protects such employees with the power of anonymity.
6. Periodically go through these measures
It’s inadequate to just put these actions in place. You must take time every so often to evaluate. Make sure that all the issue and concerns have been addressed. Set measures to make sure ‘decrease’ is within a sensible extent. For example, check your inventory turnover rate for the current year as compared to the last few years to observe greater-than-average turnover.
Signup for Your Safe Hub now and protect yourself and your valuable employees.