Employee theft is anything but harmless. It is a problem of considerable size for many companies. Many corporate security experts estimate that 25% to 40% of all employees steal from their employers.
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that employee theft of cash, property and merchandise may cost American businesses as much as $50 billion annually.
Not only does employee theft detract from potential profit and destroy trust, but it may actually increase insurance rates due to the loss of inventory, clients or even liability should data fall into the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, almost every small-business owner is likely to confront employee theft at some point and time.
Follow the three tips below to reduce the risk of employee theft, maintain profits and avoid insurance rate hikes:
Whether you use an internal system or work with a third-party vendor to screen employees, preventing a problem from taking place is the best way to deal with employee theft. Positions that deal with sensitive data or expensive items may require additional security clearance or bonding.
Proper security goes beyond a few door locks. It may involve computer encryption, asset management, phone and email surveillance, or even simple inventory controls. Depending upon the position, job duties and type of industry served, you should compare the cost of implementing security features against the potential damages in the event of a loss.
Employee theft is often associated with other underlying issues, such as substance abuse problems, mental or emotional health issues, or even anger control concerns. Have a written plan in place to address these concerns, then implement it equally. It is also important to have clearly defined job descriptions and protocols in place for access to critical information such as client lists or inventory.