The U.S. Chamber of Commerce attributes annual losses of billions of dollars to employee theft which occur in various ways. According to the report, almost 30 percent of small-scale businesses fall victim of this avoidable event which often leads to loss or closure of such business.
Also observed, is that the high level of blind trust between the business owners and employees tend to increase the risk of employee theft.
Employee theft involves more than cash theft. There have been situations where some employees divert company inventories to private use. Sometimes sensitive information relevant to the business can be stolen and sold to a competitor.
Possible Factors That Encourages Employee Theft
When it comes to crime investigation, knowing the motive behind the crime, the method used and prevailing conditions or opportunities could be helpful. While this knowledge would not take away the blame from the culprit’s doorstep, it would expose hidden loopholes to forestall future thefts. As a result, here are 3 possible factors that could promote employee theft:
- Poor Company Policies and standards.
When a business does not have functional policies and procedures in place for managing inventory, petty cash, accounts payable and receivable or supplies, employees may leave the building with company properties, and no one accounts or checks them. This can develop into a norm where everything goes. Such attitude will have a profound effect on the amount of theft that goes on in an organization. It indirectly tells employees that they can take whatever they want without reprimand for their behavior.
- No Employee Motivation
Another reason an organization may experience employee theft is lack of motivation. Although this does not justify stealing in the workplace, it’s a predisposing factor which should not be ignored. Employees who are often overworked with non-commensurate remunerations often steal company properties to make up for their financial needs and get even.
- Lack of Access Control in Sensitive Areas
When access to secure areas of the business is not controlled, pilfering may occur. Overlooking the importance of technological devices for access control could be detrimental to business success.
How to Reduce Exposure to Employee Theft
Pre-employment Background Checks: This will allow the verification of past employment and assess a prospective employee’s integrity. These checks include, but not limited to criminal conviction records, reference checks and certification verification.
Restriction of Access to Private Areas: A system can be set up to grant access to a specific level of employees and check duration and logs of what the employee is allowed to do. An alarm can be installed to alert in the event of an intruder.
Installing Video Surveillance: This is the most important security measure for businesses. CCTV cameras have a deterrent effect in the workplace like every other place. Employers should ensure adequate surveillance of strategic areas such as storerooms, vaults and work areas. By using video surveillance cameras with IP features, business owners can monitor their employees remotely and productivity can be beefed up. However, proper measures should be put in place to prevent hacking.
Overall, business owners should also look out for sudden lifestyle changes in their employees especially when it suggests someone is living above his means. In addition, putting good welfare packages in place can also promote job satisfaction and ensure employees remain loyal.
At Alpha Video Surveillance, we partner with business owners to ensure the realization of business goals. Our solutions incorporate the best video surveillance technologies in the world to address a number of security challenges facing business owners, including cutting down on employee theft. Our technical experts are one of the finest in the industry in terms of experience and professionalism. We will love to hear from you. Contact us.
Not sure how best to prevent employee theft? Download our free guide: Comparing Security Options For Your Business.