Employee theft is not something we like to believe exists. The people we gave an income and a job and a life to, the ones we helped when they were in a dark place, the ones who told us they were lucky to have this job, stealing from us? It’s betrayal in more ways than one. But, unfortunately, it happens. A survey done in 2012 showed that one out of every 40 employees were caught stealing from their place of work. Those are just the ones that were apprehended. In light of shoplifters and employee theft, you really should protect yourself against revenue loss. Here are a few ways you can cut down on theft.
You can set up a business surveillance system. If possible, only allow yourself permission to the access control systems. It might be a hassle to have to be the one to open and close up shop every morning and evening, but if it cuts down on theft, it’s worth it. Having security cameras installed as part of your business surveillance system is always a good idea so you can not only stop the theft but find out who is stealing from you.
When choosing a security system remember that there are different security system products and you will want to choose the one that best fits your business surveillance system. If your business is small, you don’t want to overdo it with lots and big camera and alarms; you want a subtle system that thieves don’t even realize is in place, in order to apprehend them.
- Before even deciding on hiring someone, if you think they might be a good fit for your company, don’t hesitate to run a background check and drug screening on each person. Drug tests are necessary because drug addicts can hide their addiction through an interview but research shows that they are more prone to begin stealing than others.
Should anyone have any priors on their record, especially in regards to theft, you don’t want them anywhere near your merchandise or money. A chief officer of the loss prevention management stated that he believes past history is a good indicator of future occurrences.
Never allow an employee to be alone in the store. Most thefts happen when someone is alone at the register or in the store. If you have at least two employees working at all times, along with a business surveillance system, this will limit temptation and opportunity.
Any refunds or exchanges or voids should be overseen by a manager.
This one might sound a little strange but monitoring the outgoing trash is a good way to cut down on theft. Many employees know that no one wants to take care of the trash so they will stash merchandise there and then volunteer to take out the trash, retrieving the items once outside.
Using clear plastic bags and ensuring boxes are flattened before being taken out are great ways to monitor the trash.
See if you can do something about setting up an anonymous method for employees to report suspicious behavior about other employees. Either a text message center or an email.
No one wants to be the rat so having the method be confidential is a good way to communicate with trusted employees.
Lastly, know your employees. Take the time to really find out who they are and what they are like. If you become a ‘loved boss’ it will make it harder for your employees to steal from you. Stealing from someone who is ‘mean’ or that you don’t know very well is a lot easier to justify in the mind of a criminal than stealing from someone they have made a connection with.
With these measures in place, it should make shop lifting as well as employee theft, much more difficult. It is always a hard time, finding out someone has been stealing from you, so try and follow these steps and cut down on the times you have to find out someone betrayed you. If you can prevent theft from happening to begin with, you will be a much happier boss with a much happier staff.