Owners of retail stores and other businesses that keep goods in stock are probably familiar with the concept of shrinkage. There is a certain percentage of goods you should expect to lose through damage, shoplifting and insider theft, but the latter cause is becoming problematic. With an estimated $50 million being lost to employee theft each year, this is a workplace situation that you want to keep an eye on. Here are four recommendations you can follow so that your staff does not clean you out.
Maintain a Physical Security Presence
Posting uniformed security guards on commercial premises is a great deterrent. You may think that security guards only keep shoplifters away, but this is not the case. When your employees know that security professionals are guarding the establishment, they will be less likely to think about stealing. A good idea is to instruct guards to include warehouse areas and offices in their patrol rounds.
Keep a Positive Workplace Atmosphere
In many cases, employees will take goods or supplies as a means of getting even. Micromanagement and bossy attitudes from managers create toxic environments, and this can result in theft as a backlash reaction. Similar situations may ensue when salaries are inadequate or are not paid on time, and also when employees are expected to work in unsafe conditions. Being overly suspicious or accusatory when goods or supplies end up missing can also backfire. If you must deal with employees whom you believe are responsible for theft, do it in a very discreet manner.
Install a Monitoring System
With surveillance camera systems in place, the benefits for your business will go beyond reducing theft. Companies such as Security Services Northwest, Inc. recommend using camera systems strategically. For example, reviewing video footage can help you determine how to better arrange your store layout for the benefit of customers. Moreover, you can also point cameras to the parking lot in order to dissuade graffiti artists and vandals.
Carefully Screen New Hires
When hiring new employees these days, you should take a critical look at their background check reports. A college graduate with solid work experience who suddenly applies for a warehouse position below her salary should merit closer inspection. Employee theft is not limited to goods and supplies; in some cases, intellectual property may be targeted.
In the end, you should keep in mind that employee theft can never be reduced to zero. Being overzealous about preventing workers from stealing will only make them smarter about it.