Employee Theft Prevention
- Employee theft accounts for a large amount of business losses.
- Establish a written policy that outlines employee responsibilities, standards of honesty, and general security procedures and consequences for not following them. Make sure new employees read it, understand it, and sign it as a condition of employment.
- Follow strict hiring practices. Verify all information and contact all the references listed on an application. Consider running a credit check.
- Keep accurate records on cash flow, inventory, equipment, and supplies. Have it checked regularly by someone other than the person responsible for maintaining it.
- Limit access to keys, the safe, computerized records, and alarm codes, and engrave "DO NOT DUPLICATE" on store keys. Change locks and access codes when an employee is terminated.
- If internal theft is discovered, take action quickly. Contact your local law enforcement agency and be sure to send a message to your employees that theft will not be tolerated.
- Reward employees for uncovering security problems and for doing a good job.
- Learn more about neighborhood organizing Organize a Business Watch
- Modeled after the Neighborhood Watch concept, Business Watch seeks to reduce commercial crime and the fear of crime from both the shopper's and the shop owner's point of view.
The following steps are the most important concepts behind Business Watch:
- Get to know the people who operate the neighboring businesses. They are your neighbors for eight or more hours a day. Making personal contact is the best way to get acquainted. Make an effort to introduce yourself to others, nearby residents, schools, civic groups, libraries, clubs, in the neighborhood.
- Watch and report. Report suspicious behavior to law enforcement immediately, even if it means taking a chance on being wrong. A telephone tree is an effective means of sharing information with other merchants. Should a problem develop, each merchant is responsible for calling one or two others on the tree.
- Secure your property. Contact your local police department to conduct a security survey of your business. Ask for their advice on lights, alarms, locks, and other security measures.
- Engrave all valuable office equipment and tools. Use an identification number's tax identification number, license, or other unique number. Check with law enforcement for their recommendation.
- Aggressively advertise your Business Watch group. Post signs and stickers saying that your block of businesses is organized to prevent crime by watching out for and reporting suspicious activities to law enforcement.