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Reducing Employee Theft

Reducing Employee Theft

Business owners and store-owners don’t like thinking about employee theft, but it happens everyday. In order to reduce this risk, store-owners need to surround themselves with staff they can truly trust.  Here are 5 tips to help reduce or cut theft among employees:

1. Run a background screening and a drug test on all potential hires. Employees with drug addictions are at higher risk for stealing to support their habit.

2. Use the buddy system. Theft happens most often when employees are alone. Try having two employees working for both the opening and closing shifts to limit opportunities to steal. Always have refunds and voids witnessed by a second employee or a manager as well. Make sure the two employees on shift together are not best buddies as one may feel they need to cover for the other.

3. Keeping video surveillance system helps deter employees as well as catch theft after it happens. Make sure to include cameras in storage rooms and loading areas as well as in the store. Use high-definition video so you can clearly identify employees and transactions along with allowing integration with facial recognition software.

4. Monitor trash removal. Employees often steal merchandise by concealing it in the outgoing trash and then retrieving it later from the outside trashcan or dumpster. In order to deal with these situations, use clear garbage bags, require all boxes to be flattened and keep dumpsters locked.

5. Get to know your employees. It’s much easier to steal from someone you don’t know very well, but it is much harder to steal from someone with whom you have a relationship. If your employees are going through financial difficulties or experiencing high levels of stress, which can increase the impulse to steal, perhaps you can give them extra work or connect them with a charitable service that can help them. When staff feel like their employers care, they’re more likely to be honest.

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