Here are some common facts regarding employee theft within the retail environment. Not specific to any retailer of size, segment or environment, see how many of these facts surprise you!
- Employees who steal are from no specific race, gender or ethnic background.
- Those caught stealing have often been the most trusted employee.
- Employees who steal often rationalize the theft with something that they have earned.
- Not all employees who steal do so for a specific financial need.
- The average theft ($) by an employee is greater than that of a shoplifter.
- Employee theft is demoralizing to all your employees and even more so if they know it is happening and nothing is being done about it!
As alarming as those facts are to any retailer, the question is…
What can you do to deter and prevent incidents of this nature from occurring in your retail establishment?
Here are four initial steps that you can take to preventing employees from deciding to steal from your company.
4 Steps toward preventing employee theft
- Conduct pre-employment screening and background checks during your hiring process. Past Employment Reference Checks included!
- Develop written policies and procedures regarding theft against the company and adhere to these policies and procedures. Have all employees read and sign as an acknowledgement of their understanding. (See our Got Policies? blog article for more information)
- Generate loss prevention awareness with a program around the education of your employees at all levels about loss prevention. Discuss topics surrounding the detection of possible theft, error prevention and how to prevent losses of all types in your environment.
- If theft or loss does occur, talk to your employees about how it happened, how to detect it and how to prevent against it. Solicit their feedback and assistance in helping to prevent future loss. Getting all your employees involved creates a team effort.
Depending on your business, a single employee thief can destroy your store’s profitability. A journey or one thousand steps begins with the first step. Take your step to preventing losses from employee theft.
LPI has solutions for evey retail segment and size. To learn more about our loss prevention solutions visit our website.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO PREVENT EMPLOYEE THEFT? Share with us your strategies...