How to Detect, Address, and Prevent Employee Theft

Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 3:50PM

How to Detect, Address, and Prevent Employee Theft

Employee theft damages your business, your reputation, and your trust. Learn how to catch and stop the practice with this advice.

No matter what type of business or organization you have, there is always a risk that you might fall victim to employee theft. In fact, more than 75 percent of workers admit to or have been caught stealing from their employers, according to research from the United States Chamber of Commerce. Researchers say that’s a higher percentage than customers who have pilfered merchandise from a store.

Given that staggering statistic, it’s important that you put in place safeguards to keep protect your employees, property, and assets. Doing so can help ensure a long and prosperous tenure for your business or organization. In addition, you can use these tips to reduce and ultimately eliminate employee theft.

Know the Details

Psychologists have studied for years the reasons why people steal. In some cases, the move is purely out of greed, to satisfy financial troubles, feeding an addiction, and similar. Other reasons include rationalization, peer pressure, employee angst, or sheer opportunity.

It’s also important to note that theft doesn’t have to be removing items from the workplace. Instead, there are other ways to steal. For instance, time theft occurs when a worker enlists another to “punch in” for them despite not having worked the recorded hours. In other cases, employees will purposely slack off, knowing they will be paid for all hours logged and/or physically present at their work site, without actually contributing any productive work to the employer. Vendor theft is also something be aware of.

Whatever the specifics, it’s essential to team with a trusted and reputable insurance company who can help you protect your business against a variety of both internal and external threats. Along with theft, that also includes fire protection insurance, personal liability, and more.

Install Safeguards

Some employers take the stance that they’ve hired reliable employees who would never steal. While this may be true to an extent, it’s impossible to truly gauge if and when a worker may choose to take advantage.

That’s why you should always perform a thorough background check on all staff members and vendors who will have close contact with company resources. Work to develop strong relationships with employees based on open communication and frequent contact. In addition, you should have a detailed system of checks and balances, and adopt a zero-tolerance policy for employee theft of any kind.

Business insurance is also a valuable tool in your arsenal, as is coverage specific to your trade such as tavern insurance and similar.

Get to the Root of the Problem

As mentioned, it’s important to try to understand why employees steal in the first place. At the same time, you naturally want to afford your workers some amount of autonomy, and demonstrate that you trust them and respect their efforts. Thankfully, all goals can be met at the same time.

This is possible through a variety of means such as establishing a reporting system and encouraging whistleblowers to come forward when they detect inappropriate behavior. You should also conduct surprise audits. Never avoid or ignore red flags. This could indicate a long pattern of theft or worse.

You should also work to promote a positive work environment. Even at a time when many companies are adapting to a distributed workforce (either temporarily or permanently), you can show that you care about workers and the physical office as well. For the latter, comprehensive fire suppression insurance is paramount to keep company and employee property and health protected at all times.  

Protect Yourself

In fact, one of the best ways you can detect, address, and prevent employee theft is by securing detailed insurance in a variety of concentrations. That includes business insurance, church and school insurance, personal lines, and more.

Other ideas include installing a video surveillance system, employing an outside firm to handle financial data, centralizing trash and recycling removal, and other ideas. You may also be able to restore potential losses through your insurance.

To that end, it’s wise to secure comprehensive coverage that protects all aspects of your business. Along with theft prevention, that also includes liability coverage, insurance for fire sprinkler contractors, property damage protection, and more.

For years, Insurance Solutions of America has assisted business leaders and individuals with a variety of insurance needs such as business insurance, bar and tavern insurance, personal lines, and RV insurance. Contact us today to learn how you can keep your business safe and secure throughout the year. 

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