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Most employees are just going to their jobs and hoping to have a decent day. The vast majority of employees are not looking to steal anything from anyone. In the course of owning or managing a business, you will inevitably come across a few who do steal. They may steal from you or from fellow employees. How can you reduce employee theft?
- Check references. Many employers skip this upon finalizing a new employee’s hire. You don’t have to check every potential’s references, but if you’re about to hire them, make sure it’s a step you take. Many applicants assume you won’t ever check those references, so they’ll even list bad ones.
- Give employees a secure space to store personal belongings. This helps them secure them from each other. If employees are worried about watching their things in the backroom, they’ll be less focused on the job at hand. For employees who want to steal, unsecured employee belongings are the easiest targets in the whole place.
- Access control should be provided for owner’s and manager’s offices. You’ll likely have your business computer, financial records, and personal information for employees here – among other things. Some level of access control should always be employed when these rooms aren’t in active use.
- Any unique or expensive equipment or machinery should have its serial number and description filed away in case of theft.
- In the event of an employee reporting theft, don’t make employees confront each other. Don’t “out” the employee who gave you the information. You’re the owner or manager. Handle it yourself. If employees are made to confront those they accuse, other employees will feel much more scared about bringing such thefts to your attention in the future. You want to reduce employee theft, not reduce your being told about it. You must investigate and confront it as one of your responsibilities.
- Record identities on incoming repair people or delivery people. You don’t need to give them a quiz. Chances are you recognize the people who regularly work these jobs. If you don’t, it’s absolutely OK to ask for a name, signature, and other reasonable identifier. If you have any doubt, you can always call and confirm with their dispatching office.