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Employee Theft Warning Signs

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Employee Theft In retail, business owners refer to “shrinkage” when speaking of financial losses attributed to anything from shoplifting and fraud, to employee theft or administrative incompetence. Shrinkage is estimated to amount to billions of dollars in lost revenue every year in the United States, and companies spend many millions of dollars attempting to curtail it. A comprehensive stop-loss program begins with sophisticated security measures, such as electronic alarm systems, security surveillance systems, and even undercover guards. But to be truly safe, it may be necessary for employers to consider one of the chief sources of loss: employee theft. Deterring employee theft and misconduct is an important aspect of any company’s security plan. Awareness of potential threats is an important component of that plan. Here are some signs that employees may be at risk for committing workplace crimes:
  • Employee lives beyond his or her means
  • Violates company policies routinely
  • Gets caught in lies
  • Struggles with substance abuse
  • Behaves selfishly or immaturely
  • Has reason to be upset with management
Security Measures A video surveillance system allows you to monitor everything from suspicious customer activity to illegal employee activities. Having a system in place also serves to deter crime by employees, who know they may be watched at any time. Implement a card access system, rather than relying on old-school keys. The latter are too easily copied. Electronic cards are harder to hack. If an employee purchases and/or consumes an item while in the store, require him or her to retain the receipt. Inspect dumpster trash receptacles randomly, after trash collection, but before pickup. Require than no fewer than two employees lock up at night. Prohibit employees from writing up, ringing up, or packaging any items for themselves or their relatives. Carefully review daily exception reports, including voids, overruns, no sales, or refunds. Define the circumstances under which an employee can ring “No Sale”. Monitor this activity carefully. In retail, business owners refer to “shrinkage” when speaking of financial losses attributed to anything from shoplifting and fraud, to employee theft or administrative incompetence. Shrinkage is estimated to amount to billions of dollars in lost revenue every year in the United States, and companies spend many millions of dollars attempting to curtail it. A comprehensive stop-loss program begins with sophisticated security measures, such as electronic alarm systems, security surveillance systems, and even undercover guards. But to be truly safe, it may be necessary for employers to consider one of the chief sources of loss: employee theft. Deterring employee theft and misconduct is an important aspect of any company’s security plan. Awareness of potential threats is an important component of that plan. Here are some signs that employees may be at risk for committing workplace crimes:
  • Employee lives beyond his or her means
  •  Violates company policies routinely
  • Gets caught in lies
  • Struggles with substance abuse
  • Behaves selfishly or immaturely Has reason to be upset with management
Security Measures A video surveillance system allows you to monitor everything from suspicious customer activity to illegal employee activities. Having a system in place also serves to deter crime by employees, who know they may be watched at any time. Implement a card access system, rather than relying on old-school keys. The latter are too easily copied. Electronic cards are harder to hack. If an employee purchases and/or consumes an item while in the store, require him or her to retain the receipt. Inspect dumpster trash receptacles randomly, after trash collection, but before pickup. Require than no fewer than two employees lock up at night. Prohibit employees from writing up, ringing up, or packaging any items for themselves or their relatives. Carefully review daily exception reports, including voids, overruns, no sales, or refunds. Define the circumstances under which an employee can ring “No Sale”. Monitor this activity carefully.

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