It may be surprising to learn that 75 percent of employees have taken from their employer without permission at least once. In fact, employees are 15 times more likely to steal from the owner than a nonemployee. An estimated seven percent of business revenue is lost to employee theft, and employees are thought to steal around $50 billion from U.S. businesses each year. According to one survey, 44 percent of workers say their employers could benefit from adding more to their theft reduction activities and 20 percent of employees have knowledge of fraud occurring at work.
Investing in a business can take on many forms but with regard to employee theft, inventory tracking software and dishonesty bonds can be helpful. Gone are the days when handwritten spreadsheets were adequate to keep track of inventory. While this type of software will show exactly what is missing due to potential employee theft, it can also be beneficial in identifying inventory lost due to accidents or unavoidable conditions because it tracks in real-time.
Business property and digital information must be safeguarded. Most business owners restrict access to things like on-site safes, but some forget about digital crime. Just as it is important to ask for that extra set of building keys back it is also critical to frequently change passwords. Consider establishing employee digital profiles that dictate access to the network based on the job position, the time of day, or other pertinent indicators such as a change in employment status.
Pinpointing vulnerabilities within the business by conducting risk assessments can make it easier to address then. Consider hiring an expert to conduct an evaluation of areas the organization may be lacking to get a clearer picture of what needs fixing. Remember, this could be in physical inventory or in network infrastructure. Reviewing the evaluator’s recommendations with employees and increasing opportunities for training can help improve the work environment and may decrease motivation for theft.
Employee theft is not uncommon, but employers can utilize different methods to minimize loss. Making smart investments in inventory tracking software can help identify missing items in real-time for a swift response. Investing in theft insurance can assist in protecting the company from losses. Another safeguard against theft involves restricting access to business property as well as digital information. Finally, a professional risk assessment can help employers recognize vulnerabilities and begin to address them.