How to Prevent Employee Theft

When you recruit employees for your business, whether personally or via an agency, you expect a certain level of trust.  Most people do not want to think of their employees as disloyal, however it is a sad fact that 33% of all cash and goods theft is committed by staff.  Here are some simple ways in which you can prevent employee theft.

Make Background Checks Mandatory

When hiring on new staff, make it compulsory for new recruits to allow you to perform a background check.  In fact, nine out of ten employers now require background checks.  You will want to double check their identity, their employment history and criminal record.  This is especially important if the position they are applying for is one of trust, such as in a school or hospital.  You should choose a service to perform the checks that is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) to ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Implement the Right Policies

Sometimes theft in the workplace can be a gray area when it comes to realizing what constitutes stealing.  Some employees may assume that using equipment or taking stationery is allowed, and this is where policies come into play.  Make it clear from the beginning that any equipment or stock is only to be used for business purposes.  This is more of a preventative measure as it helps to prevent an employee from unwittingly breaking the rules, such as taking something that has been thrown out or printing personal documents.

Invest in Cash Management Equipment

Rather than requiring staff to manually count cash at the end of the working day, you can avoid the chances of dishonesty by using things such as coin and note recyclers so that the process is all done automatically.  Some systems can even connect to your POS system improving productivity as an added bonus.  For those with smaller amounts of handled cash, it may be wise to install a security camera by the till to avoid the temptation of cash theft.  It can also be a good idea to install a bell on the cash drawer that sounds every time it is opened.

Improve Software Security

Not all theft in the workplace relates to physical goods or cash as cybercrime makes up a large proportion. Making sure that any sensitive data is only accessed by a minimal number of people reduces the chances that the information is unlawfully shared, deleted or corrupted.  Unfortunately, there have been cases where a departing employee has purposely damaged original files.  It is therefore important that any critical data is also backed up on a regular basis.  In the unfortunate case that your back up system fails, a service such as Secure Data Recovery can help.  They specialize in recovering any stored ‘evidence’ in relation to data and security breaches.

Whilst employee theft is not 100% preventable, using the above measures, you should be able to reduce the rates drastically.