Are you concerned about theft in your company and want to stop it totally? If YES, here are 10 best fail-proof ways to protect your business from employee theft.
If you are a business owner and you have people who work for you, then let’s face it; you are at risk of employee theft and fraud. Don’t be mad though, even the best of businesses have them. It is human nature to have the urge to steal and be dishonest and while many of us have the will power to resist that urge and do what is right instead, many lack that power and would rather submit to the urge.
Employee theft is something you should take very seriously. A lot of businesses have been wiped away due to very serious cases of employee theft. No one wants or expects these things to happen but they happen anyway, which is why you owe it to yourself to protect your business from employee theft and fraud. In this article, you would find 15 smart steps to take to prevent your employees from stealing from you and wrecking your business-:
15 Fail-Proof Ways to Protect your Company from Employee Theft
1. Hire with care-: Before you hire anyone to work for you, ensure that you conduct necessary background checks to be sure that you are hiring people with the right kind of character. If you are hiring a known thief to work for you or someone who was laid off from his former job for fraud, how do you guarantee that he wouldn’t do the same to you? I am all for giving people second chances and benefits of doubts but at what cost to your business?
2. Ask for Guarantors-: Ensure that you hand out guarantor forms to your employees as soon as they accept to work for you. An employee guarantor’s form is like an undertaken which would be signed by someone who can vouch for the employee’s integrity and would be mandated to repay the company for any losses suffered as a result of dishonesty from that employee.
3. Employee policy handbooks and training-: First, you have to make your employees understand the position of the company on issues involving employee theft. Let them understand through written employee policy manuals that the company strongly frowns upon stealing and fraud and that, offenders would be prosecuted. Next, you must train your employees regularly on the importance of honesty and accountability.
4. Pay your employees well-: A lot of people won’t tell you this but I would. A lot of people would tell you “Oh, you really need to protect your business from theft” but you need to ask yourself “Am I tempting my employees to steal from me?” Yes, you are tempting them to steal from you when they work so hard yet you pay them poorly.
You are tempting them to steal when you don’t care about their welfare and you are indeed tempting them to steal from you when you don’t reward or motivate them. Show your staff that you care about them, make them feel like they are part of the business and you just might have less cases of employee theft to deal with.
5. Internal control-: Have a very strong internal control procedure in place such that no one gets to single-handedly complete a job process especially when it involves cash. You should also reduce the extent to which your staffs are allowed to handle cash. There are lots of internal control procedures that you can use to protect your business, consider talking to an expert to suggest suitable strategies for your own kind of business.
6. Inventory and Audits-: Taking inventory regularly and performing periodic audits is another good way to protect your business from employee theft. Why steal when I would get caught? That should be the mindset of your employees and not “Who is going to catch me anyway?” A business owner has to be pro-active in other to prevent employee theft.
7. Be spontaneous-: Your employees would always be on their toes if they never see you coming. You would be able to prevent them from stealing from you by being spontaneous so that they never know what to expect. You should always surprise them with audits and inventory taking so that you leave them no time to scheme and plan how to cover their tracks.
8. Insurance-: Get an insurance policy to cover for employee thefts. When you have done all you can to protect your business from dishonest employees, you should still take it a step further by signing up for an employee fidelity insurance policy so that even if it happens, you wouldn’t have much to lose.
9. Install cameras in your business premises-: Having security cameras installed in your business premises can also go a long way to reduce employee theft. People are generally of better behavior when they know that they are being watched.
10. Security checks-: If you are worried about thefts that are physical in nature, you can consider installing security doors and other security devices which would make it impossible for employees to leave your business premises with unauthorized items.
11. Internet monitoring-: This is another good way to ensure your customers do not steal from you. You can monitor their mails and other activities on the internet but you do have to be careful so that you do not do this the illegal way.
12. Keep records of movements and attendance-: Ensure that everyone’s movement during office hours is accounted for. You should also ensure that you have an attendance register for recording that.
13. Monitor visitors-: Employees can steal from you with help from visitors but you cannot stop your employees from receiving visitors however, you can prevent the visitors from assisting to carry out any thefts by closely monitoring them and restricting their movements within the premises.
14. Have a supervisor-: You are a business owner who is probably busy with a whole lot of things and therefore, you may not have the time needed to closely monitor your employees but you can still hire someone whom you trust to do it for you.
15. Prosecute offenders-: Whenever you catch any employee in the act, you shouldn’t take it kindly. Ensure that the offender is prosecuted so that other employees would be wary of doing something similar.