Employee Theft

Employee Theft in the Hotel industry is certainly a problem bigger than most organizations like to think about. To put it into perspective more theft occurs from employees than with guests of the hotel! More is walking out the back door than the front! In most cases for the larger hotels we are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year! This is a problem and stopping it takes action!

Let me provide some tips on procedural things that can be done to curve Employee Theft!

After a certain hour make it mandatory that employees only leave and enter through the front door and any personal belongings can be searched by the Manager on Duty. Or prevent any large personal bags from entering the hotel at all. This will eliminate someone from taking towels or any other items our with them.

If your hotel provides catering make sure the packaging is different than what is provided in your gift shop. As an example the way soft drinks are package. I would suggest that the size container be different for catering than sold in the gift shop. This will make it immediately known if your employees are caring a catering soft drink or a purchased drink.

These are just two quick examples of what you can do to help slow down Employee Theft. Of course there is no way to completely stop it and still have a work force that supports management!

I unfortunately have had to terminate many people for Employee Theft over my career and I was surprised each time. On one occasion we had an outstanding employee, or at least we thought, that we terminated for Employee Theft. She was with the Hotel for over ten years working in the concierge room. She was caught carrying out several soft drinks and several packages of crackers. Can you imagine losing your job over simple items like this? I'm sure she didn't think she would get caught!

The reason we discovered this was that she carried out her green duffle bag twice to her car one night. The next morning it was reported that she had done this and we ask her to voluntarily show us the green duffle bag. She immediately agreed then I assigned a manager to go with her to her car. When she heard me tell the manager to go with her she immediately looked shocked and nervous!

On another occasion I had to terminate an employee for theft for taking two small soft drinks. When he was stopped he told the security manager that he had purchased the soft drinks from the gift shop. He had been with us for two weeks when this happened. What he didn't realize was that we didn't sell that size container in our gift shop. It was used only for catering jobs. When he couldn't produce the receipt we informed him and then he confessed that he had taken them.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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