Theft in the workplace is a very real problem in the U.S. Research shows that a large percentage of employees will steal from their companies at some point in their career. The theft is usually brought on by unstable financial situations like our country as a whole has been living through for the past 4 years. It can also be a result of employers underpaying staff, failing to give out raises or bonuses or any positive reinforcement. It’s often not that the thief needs the products, but rather that they feel contempt for their employer and this is the only power they have to feel better about the situation.
Items stolen in the workplace can range from paperclips and envelopes from the office, clothing from the retail shop that an individual works in, or food from the sandwich store. It doesn’t have to be big tickets items or major financial fraud, but all the little things add up!
To help avoid employee theft or put an end to it, the following tips can be useful:
1) Use Background Checks – start by making a good hiring decision. Be sure to utilize the background check and employee references. Don’t just go with your gut. Many thieves come across as nice, warm, trustworthy people.
2) Create a positive work environment – employees who are happy and feel that they are treated well, are less likely to steal.
3) Encourage a sense of ownership – employees who feel connected and part of the success of a business will be less inclined to take anything from it.
4) Explain policies and procedures – inform all employees about your rules regarding fraudulent behavior. Educate them on your ethics policies and how any crimes will be prosecuted. Let them know that you will perform unannounced audits to control the possibility of theft.
5) Institute job rotation – some companies catch fraud when an employee is out sick and someone else has to fill in for him. If possible, try to rotate positions.
6) Follow-through on any violations – don’t let anyone get off the hook for unlawful behavior. Show your employees that you will protect your business by prosecuting any fraudulent activity. All employees, regardless of their position in the company, will be held accountable for their indiscretions.
7) Rewards – whenever possible, keep morale up by giving employees rewards. This can be as small as a gift card to Itunes, or baseball tickets or cash. Again, if employees feel appreciated, they are less likely to steal. Also, establish a reward policy within the company for information that leads to the recovery of any stolen property or money. Create an easy way for employees to relay this information to you without worry of being overheard by others.
If you have been indicted for stealing, petty theft or shoplifting, take online theft classes designed to fulfill court ordered requirements. Online classes as provided by the AJ Novick Group, Inc., are interesting and informative for all ages and do not require a high level of computer skills. Quality courses contain all the current information, techniques and tips that you would find in a classroom course, but at the click of a button on your Internet based computer. They are an affordable, relevant and easy way to fulfill your court requirements, in a private environment and at your own pace.