Protect Your Business From Employee Theft
Theft among the staff is a real problem for all business owners and managers, especially in the retail and restaurant industries. From robbery and shoplifting, to internal causes such as shipping and accounting errors – the opportunities for loss sometimes outweigh a retailer’s resources for managing it.
One of the most prevalent and growing crimes is employee theft. Out of all theft related incidents, over 33% is due to employee theft up from 19% in 2008, according to Retail Council of Canada and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Retailers are turning to more sophisticated ways to monitor inventory and prevent internal loss. We’ve come up with a list of tips you can follow to reduce the risk and instance of employee theft.
Screen Potential Employees
When hiring new employees, be sure to take the necessary steps to screen them properly. Background and criminal checks, drug screening, and references are important to making sure you have the right people working for you.
People using drugs may be more at risk for stealing to support their habits. Those who have stolen in the past may also be more likely to repeat their crimes. It’s important to know any criminal and employment history so you can make an informed hiring decision.
It’s not enough to have policies in place, you have to communicate them effectively and enforce them if necessary. Your business should have a policy for employee (and family) purchases, returns, authorizing discounts, handling cash and deposits, accessing valuable inventory, and consequences for deviations from these policies.
Having employees be a part of the policy making process, and getting their feedback during staff meetings can motivate them to stick to these policies.
Managed access to valuable goods is important to preventing loss. Sonitrol Security access management system is integrated with our Sonitrol Security intrusion detection system so different employees can have different access levels. Employees who are authorized to enter certain areas will be allowed access and be able to disarm the security system. Employees who are not authorized to open the facility will not be allowed access to the facility when the security system is armed.
Monitor Trash Removal
Employees taking out the trash may conceal inventory within the bags to pick up later from the trashcans or dumpsters after hours. Having clear trash bags and requiring all shipping and product boxes to be collapsed before disposal will reduce the likelihood that someone might use this as a way to sneak inventory out of the store.
Communicate with Employees
Disgruntled employees who feel as though they are underpaid or not appreciated may start to feel entitled to theft and they may feel justified in doing so. It is important to connect with your employees as it is much harder to steal from someone you have a relationship with.
Employees who are under financial strain, or are dealing with addiction problems may also be more inclined to steal. Providing resources for employees who might need them could be what deters someone from theft.
Providing a positive work space where employees enjoy their job, hold responsibility, and receive praise when appropriate (and wages that reflect their experience and seniority), will greatly reduce instances of employee theft.
Establish a Tip Line
Set up a way for employees to anonymously or confidentially report any suspicious behaviour or theft. There are hotline services that you can use to set up an anonymous tip phone number, or you could set up an email address, or even a locked box in the break room. It is also a good idea to reward employees who report and prevent internal loss. Employees are less likely to steal when they know their coworkers may be watching and there is a greater chance of getting caught.
Use a Buddy System
There is less risk in having two employees on shifts at any given time, especially when opening or closing, accessing secure areas, or making bank deposits. You are effectively eliminating opportunity for theft to occur.
Sonitrol Verified Security System
Consider installing an integrated Sonitrol Verified Security System to CCTV monitor key internal processes such as cash transactions and receiving/shipping. Employees are MUCH less likely to steal when they know they are being monitored. And if there is a theft, you will have a record of it.
With early detection, verification, comprehensive CCTV coverage, access control – Sonitrol makes it easy for you to meet all of your security and safety needs. We also back every system with a commitment to service that includes:
• Service Guarantee
• Satisfaction Guarantee
• False Alarm Guarantee
• Performance Warranty
• Intelligent Security
For more information or to schedule a security assessment for your business, contact Joe Allen, Sonitrol Security of Delaware Valley at email@example.com or (302) 652-3060.