Keeping Your Employees Honest – Prevent Theft

url-2The following scenario happens all the time. You have hired an employee whom you just knew was the best one for the position you needed to fill. She was well dressed, educated and very polite. The interview you did with her went perfectly smooth and she could not wait to start the job. Once she began work you notice that your inventory has begun to dwindle while the profits have stayed the same. This type of thing never happened before you hired Ms. Perfect for the Job. You walk up behind your new employee when she is on her way out the door to take a break. You notice that her bag is overflowing with some of your most expensive merchandise. Obviously she has been stealing from you. This can be a staggering disappointment; especially when you thought that you had taken all the necessary steps to hire the right person for the job. However, even when you hire properly some people can slip under your radar. People can be whoever they need to be on paper and during an interview so they can get the job. Knowing this, lets discuss ways that you can keep your employees honest once  you hire them so as not to lose your shirt (and money, and watches, and cigarettes-well, you get the point!)

Even though employers must act in accordance with the law and other various codes of business and ethics, they are not at a total disadvantage when it comes to handling their employees. There are several means that you can use to ensure honest employees, so let’s start with putting up obstacles. What I mean by this is creating rules and regulations (as well as a few other things) to makeit impossible (or nearly impossible) for an employee to steal from you.

  • Have a door that is clearly only for employees to use. This means they must enter and exit through this door when coming to work, going home and going on breaks. You can have a camera at the door to catch any theft that may be occurring.
  • Check your doors every day and at various points of the day. Some thieving employees will disable security doors to help them on their mission.
  • Know who is taking out the trash every day. While this may seem overboard, if things turn up missing one too many times, you can check the trash. An employee who is stealing may put their booty in the trash cans so they can come back for it later. Have a signature form for those who take out the trash to sign for every trip they make to the garbage cans.
  • If an employee is given a key to the company and you have to let them go (or they quit), change the locks immediately.

Another way to help keep your employees honest is to invest in surveillance equipment. This is something that is extremely important and is a sign of being a smart business owner.

  • Make sure that all employees know that there are cameras at various points in the business. Do not let them know exactly where the cameras are as this would defeat the purpose. If they know that there is a real chance of getting caught they are much less likely to steal. The most beneficial places for your cameras are near cash registers, in the shipping and receiving department and in the break room.
  • Add motion detector alarms to your security services. It may sound crazy, but there have been employees known to hide in the business once it closes so that they can rob you blind! These nifty alarms will thwart their plans!

Finally, set up staunch regulations about registered transactions.

  • The drawer has to be shut after each sale is made.
  • Check that over ring receipts are not a common thing. Too many may indicate someone trying to cover up theft.
  • Only allow one person to use a register per shift. If someone else must use the register, close it out and have the new person sign in under their own name.
  • Have a supervisor present for all item returns.

All of the above tips are ways that you can ensure that your employees are being honest, and you are not being deceived. Put them to use to ensure the future of your company and to make sure that those working for you are the best employees possible.