You might think that it will never happen to you, but theft in the workplace does happen. It is a major cause for concern. Internal employee theft is a very serious issue and you need to know how to manage it before it happens. This post will tell you all that you need to know about employee theft and how to prevent it.
Essentially, employee theft is when a member of staff steals, uses or misuses company assets without permission. The most obvious example of this will be stealing money from the cash register. But, there are other examples of employee theft to be aware of. These include stealing office supplies, or taking the products that you sell. It could even be using the company car without permission, or stealing company or personal data. Of course, these can all negatively impact the business. However, remember it is also a crime and one that must be taken seriously.
Discovering employee theft can be upsetting and stressful. But, it is vital that you know how to react in this situation. Securing evidence is key so it is important that you have evidence such as CCTV footage. Stealing can be gross misconduct, which means that you can terminate the employee’s contract. (It is a good idea to have an employee theft policy in place - this can act as a deterrent. Whether or not you notify the police is up to you. But, it might be a good idea to prevent the issue from happening again down the line.
Ideally, you will want to avoid employee theft at all costs and there are ways that you can do this. Recruitment is obviously important, but even someone that you might think would never steal might commit employee theft. Especially if they fall on hard times. This is why it is important to have CCTV cameras, computer security, and serially pre-numbered sales slips. Bookkeeping is also key so you will want to use an accountant that can keep an accurate inventory. This way staff know that everything is tracked and recorded. You can also prevent employee theft by ensuring that your staff are well compensated and by maintaining a positive relationship with them. Warning signs can include insubordinate behavior, mentioning that they are having financial trouble and a drop in engagement at work.
Every business owner thinks that it will not happen to them, but employee theft can be common and is a very serious issue. It is important to know how to both prevent and handle employee theft and the advice in this post will hopefully help you to take action so that it is not something that you ever experience.