7 Ways to Prevent Employee Theft

Owning your own company or managing employees is a large undertaking, but with huge payoffs. More than likely, you’re in charge of your own schedule, make a decent living, and you get to be your own boss! While you may experience some great benefits, you are also saddled with the responsibility of keeping your business safe and secure; and not just from outsiders.  

In September of 2015, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners determined that 75% percent of employees have stolen from their employer at least once during their time with the company! If you’re a business owner, it’s up to you to lower your risk of employee theft. Here are 7 ways to help prevent theft in your business.

1. Install a Safe

Protect your most important business documents and valuables in a fireproof business safe. Unless you have large things to secure, most businesses can get away with a smaller safe that can easily be hidden in a desk drawer, closet, or storage area that is not accessible to other employees. Not sure what to look for when purchasing a safe for your business? Check out this blog post for more information.

2. Be Present Even When You’re Not

Get an eye in the sky. You can’t be in all places at once, so why not get a little help? Employees are less likely to cause trouble if they know they’re being watched—smile, you’re on camera! The best types of systems are those which live stream so that owners and managers will be able to keep an eye on things remotely and in real time.

3. Safeguard Cyber Assetspreventing employee theft

Dishonest employees are not restricted to tangible assets. Chances are, they handle sensitive customer information. Depending on your business that could be credit card numbers or even social security numbers. Protect your customer’s information by utilizing a data encryption method, two-part authentication for sensitive information, and by using a password on your computer. Always lock your computer when you’re not at your desk to prevent unauthorized people from accessing it.

4. Use a Buddy System

If your company’s finances allow, always have more than one employee working at any given time. It’ll be much more difficult for someone to walk out with something at the end of their shift if they’re paired with another individual. Take it a step further by varying who is paired together. You don’t want partners in crime working the same shift.

5. Surprise and Planned Audits

One not so secret way to keep yourself safe from employee theft? Carry out unannounced audits randomly throughout the year. Not knowing when the audits will occur could prevent someone from stepping out of line. You should also run a yearly audit performed by a third party organization. This will help you determine if any of your preventative actions have made a difference from year to year.

6. Implement a Tip Line

The same study that found almost all employees steal (sad) also discovered that the majority of the thieves were discovered due to a tip from a fellow employee (nearly 26%). Making it easier for your honest workers to report issues is one of the first steps you should take in protecting your business. Go old school and get one of those locked “comment” boxes for anonymous tips or invest in a service to field these reports for you.

7. Change the Locks

If you have a particular employee who you’re worried about or are concerned about safety after dismissing someone, change the master key locks to your business. Locks are easy and quick to replace and will provide you with added piece of mind that former employees do not have access to your business. Make sure you use a locksmith that you can trust—read our blog post on 5 questions to ask before hiring a locksmith.

Depending on the type of business you’re in, one or even all of these methods may be your saving grace. For help preventing employee theft at your business in the Boston area, contact us today.

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