As a consultant and loss prevention service provider, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to a full spectrum of opinions on employee theft. Few, if any, business practitioners take issue with the fact that employees steal and most agree it is the biggest challenge facing companies.Read More
Topics: employee theft
Mark Twain wrote, “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.” It’s an interesting proposition and amusing when we consider the answers we must provide when shrink, loss, or performance misses the intended goal. In general poor loss prevention performance has only three sources—systemic error, shoplifting, or employee theft. Thankfully it is only three because even at that, it can be quite difficult to narrow it down to just the one. The issue isn’t that discovery of the main cause is impossible, the issue is we often rely more on “crystal ball” techniques than evidence based analysis.
Nearly 1 in 3 American workers admitting to some degree of Employee Theft, let’s explore the scope of the problem.
Our legal system allows us to seek remedies when we are the victim of theft. We can pursue criminal charges or we can seek civil recovery of the loss, and sometimes both. Often we can pursue financial compensation for the cost of our security efforts. When strangers are involved, resolution is a straightforward and rational enterprise. A substantial amount of business losses, however, is the result of employee theft. Employee theft can create an emotional response that adds to the complexity of the situation. Since employees are trusted “members of the family,” the theft can feel very personal. In that psychologists contend that ninety percent of our decision-making is emotional (not you and I, we are completely rational decision makers of course), it is critical that a company develops clear prosecution and restitution guidelines in advance of a specific theft situation.