We always want to believe people have integrity, especially our employees. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Statistics show that 80% of employees will steal under the right conditions and 10% will steal whenever an opportunity becomes available. 

It is disheartening to know that 90% of your workforce could be a theft risk, however, there are steps you can take to help dissuade the 80% from stealing. 

The first important step is to understand why your employees would want to steal. There are several factors that could influence their decision. What’s their motive? It is possible your staff member has had a major life change that would make them want to steal? 

Opportunity could be another reason for why they would consider theft. Maybe your company does a poor job tracking cash flow, which lowers the risk of staff getting caught. 

Lastly, rationalization is another reason someone may steal. If your employee feels unappreciated or more deserving than others, they may choose to steal from you to get what they feel they deserve. 

Once you understand why stealing could take place, you can follow the below action steps to minimize your risk of theft:

1.  Learn about your rights as an employer as well as your employees’ rights: Consult with an attorney that specializes in this area to learn about the best practices for theft prevention measures. 

2. Hire honest people: Even if someone does a wonderful job during an interview, make sure you are also checking their references to ensure they are trustworthy.

3. Be transparent regarding issues and be clear about consequences: It is important that you address with your employees your concerns regarding theft. Explain how you plan to take action regarding the issue if it were to arise. 

4. Use good bookkeeping practices: Unfortunately, if you allow your books to get messy. it can be easy for theft to go undetected. Delaying posting transactions can make it challenging to determine who exactly stole from you and how much. 

5. Consider hiring an outside firm to audit your books periodically: Having a second set of eyes on your financial records will not only help catch human errors, but also dissuade dishonest employees.

6. Put a system in place for monitoring all assets: Just because you are keeping a close eye on your financial records, doesn’t mean that theft is not occurring in other areas. Be sure to monitor inventory as well.

7. Connect with employees on a personal level: Maintain a strong relationship with your employees in order to help reduce risk. By having a personal relationship with them, they will in return feel respected and will also feel more connected with your company and the desire to harm you will be reduced. 

 8. Implement checks and balances: You will most likely have less staff who steal from you if they know their actions are being monitored and they could be discovered more quickly. From having random inventory checks to timecard spot checks, there are many ways to create new procedures for your business that will protect you from dishonest employees.

9. Create unique computer login credentials for all employees: This will help you know exactly which employee accessed your systems and the time of an incident. 

10. Consider using access cards or codes: Similarly, you can switch from having physical store keys to facility access cards so that you can keep a record of when different employees enter or leave the building 

11. Install security cameras: If you have important areas that you want an extra eye on, security cameras may be necessary in order for more protection. 

12. Create a confidential tip line: Some employees may not feel comfortable reporting theft directly, so a tip line will help them leave the information anonymously. 

You will never truly be able to shield your business from employee theft, however, it is important to put policies and action steps into place to help mitigate your risk. 


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This