Employee Theft Is A Rapidly Growing Crime Problem
The FBI reports that employee theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. Recent reports have found that stealing by employees is increasing at a rate of fifteen percent annually. It can be disastrous for a business and its bottom line.
Sometimes theft by employees can seem to be most prevalent in the retail industry, but it affects far more employers than you may think.
Here are some suggested ways to reduce the incidence and severity of the crime:
1. Accept the fact that employee stealing is probably happening to you. Don’t put your head in the sand. It’s a fact of life in business today, and it is essential to have a mindset that it is a challenge that must be addressed. Being prepared and vigilant is the cornerstone of deterrence and detecting bad behavior by your staff.
2. Have every employee sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. Make it standard practice for everyone.
3. Screen job applicants thoroughly before hiring them in the first place.
4. Install video and/or camera surveillance systems where appropriate.
5. Deploy monitoring software that can detect computer and online behavior that is outside company policies.
6. Discuss the issue with staff regularly. Get it out front in a positive way – communicating that every business in America is having these discussions today and it does not reflect a distrust of your staff – emphasizing the cost to the company and its ability to compensate all the honest employees. Create a work environment that is, itself, vigilant, protective of the company and the staff’s own interests. Create a culture of honesty.
7. Expanding on #6, create a rich, rewarding work environment for your staff. The more they feel satisfied and comfortable with the workplace, the less likely they will be motivated to steal.
8. Make certain you have an inventory tracking system that is sophisticated and comprehensive.
9. Reduce opportunities to steal – evaluate systems and procedures to make it more difficult, and minimize temptation.
Most employee theft is solitary behavior and does not require special equipment, procedures, or accomplices. It is often not easy to detect and is disturbing to deal with. But it is a fact of business life today. And the best way to deal with it is to prevent it. You can find more information on the subject here.