Annually, businesses lose $50 billion from employee theft, with an average loss of $1.13 million per company. Such a crime can devastate small and medium-sized businesses with tight profit margins. Companies of these sizes, unfortunately, make up 68% of those affected by theft.
Rather than waiting for it to happen to you, take steps now to protect your business from employee theft. You cannot afford to forego these measures.
Secure Company Property
Don’t find out the hard way that your company’s property has “grown legs” and disappeared from your office. Secure all materials and restrict access to supplies. For instance, keep a supply closet or merchandise storeroom locked and only give the key to a trusted individual.
Also, track all keys or access cards given to your employees. Number these items to make it easier to track if a worker has successfully returned their cards or keys when they leave.
The theft of company data is a related crime. Therefore, you must require secure passwords for network access and never let anyone outside your company connect to your network. If you want public wifi, set up a separate network to keep your company’s data safe.
Track Inventory Carefully
Maintain records of the amount of inventory that you have. Unless you know exactly what you have, when you got it, and when you used or sold it, you will not be able to determine that you have products missing.
If possible, conduct weekly inventories of high-priced merchandise. Plus, maintain documents of all damaged, low-demand, or discarded products, which are frequently stolen due to their neglected status in many businesses.
Remove Company Access to Those Leaving
You can experience employee theft even from those who no longer work for your company. When someone leaves your employ, require they return all keys and access cards given to them. If you’ve numbered these items, verifying that the worker gave you back the same pieces is easier.
Disable all former employees’ access cards. Therefore, even if they made copies, they would no longer be capable of using it.
Additionally, change company network passwords after an employee leaves. This will help prevent data theft from a former worker logging into your network to steal information on your business or customers.
Show that You Take Employee Theft Seriously
Lastly, if you do uncover employee theft, take the matter seriously. When you have a suspicion of theft, put the worker on leave during your investigation. If your findings prove that they did steal from your company, fire them, and let other workers know about the theft and firing. These measures may prevent other workers from attempting to steal from your company.