Employee Theft & How To Avoid It

Being in business is hard, full stop. Whether you are just starting a new venture or have a long established company, new hurdles arise at a steady rate for you to clear. In order for your business to thrive It is imperative to have the right people in place, with everyone working together to achieve the same goal. This may seem blatantly obvious, but getting the right people can be a much more difficult task than it would appear.

Time, effort and tough decisions are involved in the recruitment process to ensure you are hiring the right people for the job. Our staff become trusted members of a team and the last thing we want to think is that the very same employees have the potential to steal from us. Unfortunately, theft in the workplace is more common than we would like to believe. Be it cold hard cash or products that you stock, employee theft is a real issue which cannot be overlooked.

A recent report by the British Retail Consortium discovered that employee theft now amounts to 6% of the value of crime committed against retailers, citing an average value of £1,031 per incident. Another worrying find was that on average, each theft committed by an employee costs four times that committed by a customer.

It’s not all doom and gloom as thankfully there are ways to surround yourself with staff you can trust. We’ve come up with a few tips to help clamp down on employee theft;

A positive work environment will encourage employees to adhere to policies and procedures and act in the best interests of the business. If employees are happy in their roles, they will be much less likely to take from your business. Open lines of communication between management and staff and positive employee recognition will all help reduce internal theft.

Staff will be much less likely to steal if they are aware that they are being watched. You don’t want to turn your business premises into the Big Brother house, but having cameras in areas such as storage rooms or loading areas should give you extra peace of mind. Good quality cameras which include high-definition video and facial recognition software are a must.

Not everything put in the bin is rubbish! Employees will often conceal stock/cash in the outgoing rubbish and retrieve it at a later stage outside the premises. A way around this problem would be to use clear rubbish bags, make sure all boxes are flattened before being binned and have all bins locked.

It’s much easier to take from someone you don’t know very well, but it is much harder to steal from someone who you have a relationship with. You shouldn’t be best buddies with your employees but reaching a mutual respect is important.

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I’d say I’m a fairly sociable chap at the best of times, so what better way to connect with our customers and other businesses than through social media. We’ve been embracing the social world lately. It’s a fun and enlightening experience! Do connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can even make an enquiry via our social media channels if you prefer!

And now, I’m giving blogging a go. I’m sharing stories and tips from my days on the stocktaking trail in “The Rambling Stocktaker” posts on our blog. Have a read, and let me know what you think!

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