How to Prevent Employee Theft

One of the most serious threats to a business is employee theft. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that a typical business will lose an average of 6 percent of revenues to employee theft. The US Chamber of Commerce says one third of business failures are a direct result of employee stealing.

The FBI reports a number of factors include greed, personal money problems, behavioral issues or the desire to retaliate against the company. So how do you prevent employees from stealing from your business?

Recommendations to Prevent Employee Theft

At Securiteam, we hear about these sort of issues from a new clients regularly, but there are ways to control this problem. Here are some ways you can prevent employee theft, from the initial hiring process through (if necessary) dismissal for theft:

  1. Screen prospective employees. Prior to making any hire, search their background for any history of gambling, drug problems, debt or other issues that might lead them to steal. Disclose this before hiring (the law requires this) to indicate to prospective employees that the company is serious about preventing employee theft.
  2. Implement Area Restrictions. Limit access to areas, data, and property that are not essential to the employee’s job description.
  3. Keep a Virtual Eye on Employees. Using High Definition business video surveillance systems with video monitoring and video analytics will not only let employees know that someone is watching and dissuade them from stealing, it also allows managers to monitor work productivity, even if they are not on premise.
  4. Use Biometric Identification Systems. This will keep time-sheet fraud under control by eliminating the practice of colleagues punching others time-cards to cover up for tardiness or extended breaks.
  5. Monitor Trash Removal. Employee theft often occurs by concealing property as trash and then retrieving it from the dumpster later.
  6. Employee Tip Line. Set up a confidential way for employees to report suspicious behavior. Post highly visible signs for rewards for staff who provide information about theft. Employees will likely think twice before stealing if they think they might be reported by co-workers.

In short, to ensure security and prevent employee theft, protect your business with:

  1. Constant facility monitoring
  2. Facility access restrictions
  3. Limiting employee access to property and data
  4. Installing tools to track what you employees are doing

If you have thoughts about these measures or other means for preventing employee theft, tell us about them in the comment field below.