Employee theft is estimated to cost American businesses up to $40 billion annually.
Here are ten tips to combat the potential for employee theft:
- Run background checks and drug test possible new employees.
- Check applicants’ references. They provide them, but do not always expect them to be checked.
- Have employees work two at a time, especially for opening and closing shifts. Rotate pairs of employees working together to diversify accountability.
- Implement virtual deterrents like video surveillance and/or an exception-based reporting system.
- Monitor the trash! Merchandise can be mixed into the trash and retrieved later.
- Establish an opportunity for employees to confidentially report suspicious behavior from their co-workers.
- Take the time to get to know your employees. If you know they are experiencing high stress levels or financial troubles, you can anticipate threats of theft.
- Communicate standards of conduct. Be clear and direct about what you expect.
- Perform regular audits on inventory, expense reports, cash and sales reconciliation, and any other applicable areas.
- Look out for warning signs! Over-protectiveness of work space, no vacation time, and/or unexpected change in behavior can be indications of something awry.