Businesses lose a lot of money due to problematic employees. Problematic employees come in all forms. Some are simply incompetent. Others are unproductive. And some employees engage in theft, which can cost businesses thousands of dollars.
When dealing with theft, it’s crucial that you first find out about its nature and why they do it. Here’s what you need to know about employee theft.
Employee theft is a fairly common occurrence. About 75% of employees have admitted to stealing from their employers. The most common type of theft is taking office supplies home. The next most common is taking food or drinks from the workplace. These are relatively small and petty thefts, but some employees eventually steal company assets.
Employees stealing company assets can be problematic. It’s estimated that employees stealing company assets can cost businesses over $50 billion annually. These thefts usually remain undetected, leading to a company’s eventual downfall.
Employee theft can break ethical guidelines; in some situations, it can even be a felony.
So, how can you prevent employee theft from happening in your business? The first step is information.
Do Background Checks
The hiring process is one of the most crucial processes when it comes to preventing employee theft. You must do your due diligence and run background checks on all potential employees.
You should also look into their social media accounts to see if there’s anything that raises red flags. If you find anything that makes you question their character, it’s best not to hire them.
Lastly, if you have a hunch about a particular applicant, it might be in your best interest not to hire them. For example, you can handle an employee stealing office supplies, but an employee that steals a company asset can be an outright disaster. So listen to your guts and ensure you hire the right employees.
Install Security Measures
Security cameras and alarm systems are a great way to prevent employee theft. If you have security cameras, ensure they’re visible so that employees know they’re being watched.
Alarm systems can also help prevent employee theft. For example, if an employee tries to steal something, the alarm will go off, and they’ll be caught.
It’s also worth remembering that your company vehicle is one of the most expensive assets your business will ever have. That’s why installing a dashboard camera on your company vehicle is good. It will help you check where your employees take the vehicle. It might also be wise to install a car disabling device, just in case they try and run away with it. Stealing a company vehicle can be costly, and using nefarious means can be a lot worse. So make sure to keep an eye out on your company vehicle wherever it goes.
Implement an Employee Disciplinary Process
If you catch an employee stealing, you must have a disciplinary process. This will help ensure that the employee is dealt with fairly and consistently.
The first step is to talk to employees about what they did wrong. Then, if they admit to the theft, you can decide on the appropriate disciplinary action. This could be anything from a warning to dismissal.
It’s essential to be consistent with your disciplinary process. For example, if you’re lenient with one employee, they might think stealing is okay. On the other hand, if you’re too harsh, it could create a hostile work environment.
The best way to prevent employee theft is to be proactive. You should regularly check in on employees and see how they’re doing. If you notice that an employee is behaving differently, or if they suddenly have more money than usual, it might be worth investigating.
You should also have regular meetings with your employees. It will help to build trust and open communication. If employees know they can come to you with problems, they’re less likely to steal.
Lead by Example
As the boss, you need to lead by example. For example, if you’re constantly taking company property home with you or not following the company’s rules, your employees will think it’s okay to do the same.
You should always be honest and transparent with your employees. Let them know what the consequences are for stealing. It will help to deter them from doing it in the first place.
Employee theft is a serious issue that can cost businesses a lot of money. But by following these tips, you can help prevent it from happening in your business.