Did you know that 75% of employees at least once stole from their employers? Theft can be especially harmful to small businesses because they are theft victims in 64% of cases. But what is contributing to that enormous percentage is the fact that small companies rarely report the theft; they only register it in 16% of cases. And, also because of that, employee theft is the fastest growing crime in the USA. When you own a small business, it’s entirely up to you what you are going to do if you find out somebody stole from you. But we are here to help you not to get into that situation.
Here are some tips to prevent potential employee theft.
1. Make employees feel valued
Initially, you need to know why employees steal? Research showed that there are many reasons, but the most frequent ones are: greed, weak financial controls, employees think they deserve the raise because they are not paid enough. Think about these reasons, try figuring out are their salaries adequate. But giving them fair pay isn’t the only way of making employees feel valued. You can improve your work relationship with them by giving them feedback about their work. So, it would help if you showed them that you recognize their effort. Also, it would be nice if you included some kind of reward for hard-working employees. Providing a positive work environment is also very important for them.
2. Meet your employees before you hire them
It’s better to prevent something than to cure it, right? So, next time somebody comes to you looking for a job, check their background. Ask why they leave their previous position, contact their previous employers, check their criminal record. If they have a history of theft, they are more likely to do it again, so if you decide to employ that person, you must be careful.
3. Put your workplace under surveillance
If you have cameras, it would be more difficult for employees to steal and not get caught. Also, some of them won’t even try it because they will have a fear of being seen. With cameras, you will be able to check the videos of specific dates, and you will be able to check videos if something is missing.
4. Hire security help
It would be great if you had a security guard patrol at your workplace, because not only that security guards make sure your employees can’t steal, but also they will look after your customers. If you think that cameras aren’t enough, you can always hire people who will be able to act right away when they notice somebody trying to steal.
5. Keep organized and neat records
Modern technology makes this so much easier, and strict record-keeping will help destroy thoughts of criminal activity. What do you need to do? First of all, make sure that cash draws are counted in and out at the end of the shift so you can find shortages, and inventory should be carefully calculated and checked at each quarter for missing items and inflated numbers. Security guards and managers should also check timesheets with actual work shifts when there is some incident, so they could more easily determine who is responsible.
6. Limit access
When your employees have complete access to your workplace and its assets, you will never be able to know who will want to get creative with their paycheck. Sometimes employees who have access to things like petty cash drawers or company credit cards decide to treat themselves well. To avoid this, always limit access to certain parts of your workplace, credit cards, online accounts, or cash. Here too, security guards can be really helpful.