Although the target of most retailers’ crime prevention efforts will be shoplifters, several businesses ignore or overlook the threat their own employees pose. In many respects, detecting and preventing employee theft is harder than safeguarding your products against shoplifters.
But with security specialist ADT citing studies that show the more staff believe they will be caught, the less likely they are to steal, it makes complete sense to implement employee theft preventative measures.
Here at Jag Security, our retail officers not only deter shoplifters from stealing your most expensive products, they can also be on the look out for suspicious staff activity and catch offenders in the act. However, we also have the following advice for business security and employee theft prevention.
Restrict personal belongings
A temptation to steal could be reduced if you restrict staff from taking personal items, such as bags and wallets, onto the shop floor. To support such a policy, you may want to provide staff with lockers or a secure area where they can leave their possessions.
Carry out recruitment checks
Stop employee theft from happening in the first place by carrying out background checks on candidates during the recruitment process. This enables you to cut down on hiring dishonest staff and can also prevent bad influences from entering the workplace.
Perform regular stocktakes and impromptu audits
In order to uncover instances of theft, you should conduct regular stocktakes and impromptu audits that will keep staff on their toes. This can also help identify any vulnerabilities you may be facing and will measure the effectiveness of existing controls.
Make your staff sign in and out
Whenever your staff start and finish work, have them sign in and out. This provides a record of who was in the store and the hours they worked. This can provide invaluable information when a theft occurs and you need to clear a staff member’s name from any wrongdoing.
Educate your employees
Along with letting staff know the consequences of stealing at work, a training or education programme can also define what is considered fraudulent or criminal behaviour. Each and every employee should sign an acknowledgment after training has taken place too.
Introduce a reporting system
There is a chance that incidents may go unnoticed if staff feel as though they won’t be protected by letting you know. Therefore, you should introduce an anonymous and confidential reporting system that can detail any violations of policy or procedure.
Limit access and authorisation
For example, limit access to physical and financial assets, which can include accounting systems, to authorised employees only. Another option is to develop a policy that determines how financial transactions are initiated, authorised, recorded, and reviewed.
Investigate every incident
Regardless of how minor an employee’s indiscretion is, you should always perform a thorough and prompt investigation. After all, this might not be the first time they violated company policy and it can better inform decisions about employee theft prevention in the future.