Keeping Them Honest: Fighting Employee Theft

employee theft

Business owners need to be aware of the threat of their employees stealing from them. Billions of dollars are lost each year to employee theft, and you shouldn’t be one of the victims. With simple precautions, you should be able to ensure that your people are staying honest. There are several ways in which your employees might be cheating you. This can be as simple as stealing inventory, to something more complex, like changing time stamps on their work records. If you want to keep everyone honest, here are some things that you can do.

Better Employee Screening

One reason for potential theft is that you hired workers who had a history of cheating and stealing. This highlights the importance of proper employee screening. Some companies look at a person’s credentials, and then they hire when they look impressive. However, simple background checks can reveal the truth about your potential employee. Contacting their references and their former place of work can reveal a lot of things. Someone who has no references is a risk since you won’t know their character and behavior until they are working for you.

Keep Your Employees Happy

Many employees who steal from their employers feel that they are justified in their theft. This is likely because of bad treatment and other things happening in the company. Happy employees don’t have a reason to steal from you. They will do better work. Additionally, research shows that higher wages are connected to lower employee theft. If you pay your workers a high enough salary, they won’t need to steal from you. Other ways to boost your employees’ morale include being more open to their concerns and giving them additional benefits. Think of these as investments in better performance.

Installing Security Measures

Some people steal because they find the temptation too great. These employees are driven by greed and steal by opportunity. They are presented with an opportunity to get something valuable with no consequences at all. If you want to prevent these people from stealing from you, then you have to make them feel that they can’t get away with it. Internal security measures like internal tracking of employee access and CCTV installation can ensure that you immediately know the possible suspects for any thievery happening.

cctv camera

Implement Smart Scheduling

Keeping your employees honest is a lot easier when you change their schedules. Theft is easier when a person is alone. If you can, change the schedule so that your employees will always have a partner when they work. This stops a single person from the temptation of stealing. For example, if you assign a person to watch your sales register, it is better to have someone sharing the duty so that it is easier to do the job. It also stops your employees from sneaking away some money. Additionally, you can also schedule someone to check on the amount in the register at the end of each day.

Have Strict Anti-Theft Policies

You can also deter theft by implementing some very strict anti-theft policies. This can include things like termination and criminal charges. If your employees are honest, then that can cut down on incidences of theft. Many thieves steal because they think there are no consequences. Showing your employees that you are willing to take action against them will make a lot of prospective thieves hesitate. You can also get some help from your employees. Set up an anonymous tip line so that your people can report any wrongdoing that they are witness to. Since the risk of being caught is higher, any potential theft will be thwarted.

Audit Your Operations With An Outside Accountant

Sometimes, you don’t notice the thievery because it is very subtle. Smart thieves take money in small amounts over a long period. This can potentially build up over a long time. If not caught, an embezzler like that could steal thousands of dollars without anyone noticing. To avoid that, you’ll want to bring in an auditor to look at your books regularly. They can identify any inconsistencies and then trace them back to their source. At the minimum, you need to do this once a year to detect any potential theft.

Your business might be losing money, and you don’t know it. Ensuring that your employees are not cheating you takes minimal effort and can reassure you that employee theft is not happening. Additionally, being able to catch the culprits can go a long way towards keeping your operations.

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