Prevent Employee Theft

Employee Policy Manual

There are a number of ways to prevent employee theft within the workplace. Although there is never a perfect system there are plenty of methods that make it very difficult on someone that is really determined to steal from their employer.

I found recently on a website that stated the United States Chamber of Commerce reported out that nearly 75 percent of all employees steal at least one time at work. This is a staggering number! The report goes on to state that half of these individuals go on to steal repeatedly. Further down in this same report it states that over one third of all businesses fail due to employee theft. Theft and dishonesty is costing American businesses over fifty billion dollars annually.

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Turning your operation into a prison camp...

Makes the topic of how to prevent employee theft even more important than you might think!

Now let's address a couple of things you can do without turning your operation into a prison camp. After all the last thing we want to do is wreck employee moral which turns into a large expense as well. This shows up in the form of turnover, reduced productivity, sick days, disciplinary issues, etc.

Let's start with some pretty simple things you can do for cashiers, or anyone handling your cash. When the employee is at their workstation they should not be allowed to carry their purse or wallet. Any uniforms that you provide should not allow for pockets. A common technique is to do surprise audits. This means at any time you can pull their drawer and balance it out. The surprise audits should be totally random. Finally you need to set a maximum and minimum overage or shortage at the end of each day they turn in their cash drawer. Most places make it a percentage instead of a dollar amount.

If it happens a third time you...

To go one more step you would set actions that would be taken if they exceed the first time, second time, etc.

As an example if they are over or short the first time within a reasonable amount may receive a written counseling and/or removed from cash handling responsibilities for a one day period or more. If they have a second occurrence you may issue a written warning letter and/or removed from their cash handling duties for a longer period of time. If it happens a third time you may issue another written warning, consider termination, or removing them permanently from cash handling. For many of the others out there that have more serious issues with items going out the back doors, I have some suggestions to help you prevent employee theft.

Here are some suggestions to help prevent employee theft: Limit which doors that employees can enter or exit from. By limiting the doors your employees can enter or exit from will help to observe all employees as they enter or leave the work site. Therefore, no one is going to carry out a large television set in front of someone. You may even consider having a camera located at this place to verify anything if you have to investigate an employee theft.

One of the oldest tricks for an employee...

Limit what an employee can bring in or take out of your business.

If you limit the size of bags that employees can bring into the work site it will drastically prevent employee theft. You will leave the employee with nothing to hide the stolen items in. If they do need to bring larger bags/boxes to the work site they should be subject to being search. The important thing here is to not discriminate against anyone.

Implement a policy that no one can remove anything from an outside dumpster.

One of the oldest tricks for an employee is to remove something as trash and then later come back and remove it from the dumpster. That is why many businesses have a policy that prohibits any employee from removing something from a dumpster once it is tossed.

We could continue this discussion on how to prevent employee theft for pages upon pages, but I am hopeful that this gets your thoughts flowing on how you specifically can attack it at your workplace.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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