Employee theft is more common than many business owners would like to believe. Every year, employee theft or workplace crime costs businesses $50 billion, according to a Hiscox study. Many businesses report that internal theft is a larger problem than external theft, especially considering certain employees steal repeatedly and may not be caught for years. The good news is there are several steps your business can take to prevent employee theft of all types. The staff at ADS Guards, a leading provider of security guard services in San Jose, wants to share a few tips for preventing employee theft.
1. Install Visible Security Cameras
Cameras can be an effective way to deter external theft, but a security system can also dramatically reduce instances of employee theft. When employees know they are being watched, they will be less likely to commit theft. The mere presence of cameras can automatically deter crime and make employees think about the consequences of their actions.
Make sure your cameras are set up to capture most employee activity, especially around the cash register and storage rooms. You should also identify other areas at risk of theft, such as the dumpster and areas where high-value items are stored. You may even want supervision where employees check in to prevent payroll fraud.
2. Don’t Allow Employees to Work Alone
While it’s sometimes unavoidable, theft usually happens when one employee is working alone at the register or in the store. It’s always a good idea to have at least two employees working at opening and closing, as it reduces the opportunity for theft.
A second pair of eyes is also important during voids and refunds, as a common form of theft involves fraudulent refunds in which the employee pockets the cash. You may want to make it a policy that a manager or second employee be present for all voids and refunds.
3. Watch for Warning Signs
If you are vigilant and know your employees, you may spot indicators of possible theft. Potential warning signs that may warrant a closer look include:
- A preference for working independently or avoiding teams
- Lifestyle that exceeds salary or new, expensive purchases after complaining about having no money
- Sudden devotion to working late
- Strong objections to changes in inventory or financial procedures
- Problems with expense records, such as repeatedly reporting incorrect hours worked or failing to maintain records of petty cash
4. Hire a Security Guard
A security guard can be a powerful deterrent to theft of all kinds, both internal and external. Potential thieves will quickly realize your store is not an easy mark. Employees considering theft will also realize they have fewer opportunities when you take security seriously. The presence of a security guard means an extra set of eyes on all threats to your business. Working with a trusted security company in San Jose can also make your workers feel safe and valued at work and more likely to report suspicious activity.
If you need highly trained security guards for your business, reach out to ADS Guards, a trusted provider of San Jose commercial security. We also offer professional guards for residential properties and special corporate events. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to speak with one of our friendly representatives.