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Preventing Employee Dishonesty

From business owners to managers, leadership strives to build talented teams to help ensure the success of the organization. And certainly no one wants to consider the potential of dishonest team-members!

But employee dishonesty is an unfortunate fact of life—and one that does a lot of damage.

For instance, loss of retail product due to theft and other causes costs US retailers approximately $42 billion annually. That’s bad enough—but did you know that employee theft accounts for 43 percent of lost revenue? That’s about $18 billion!

So, although employee dishonesty is certainly a topic most of us would rather not think about, for the security—and long-term success—of your organization, it’s something that you need to look at head-on… and something you need to strive to prevent.

Where to begin? Why, at the beginning, of course! Establish procedures to ensure that you are hiring employees that will not steal from the organization.

  • Contact all personal and professional references listed on an application.
  • Verify all information on the employee application.
  • Consider running a credit check.

Discourage Employee Theft

Once employees have been hired, there are many steps you can take to discourage dishonesty. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Keep accurate records on cash flow, inventory, equipment, and supplies. Establish a fail-safe system by having these records checked regularly by an employee other than the one who maintains them.
  • Create a written policy clearly outlining employee responsibilities, standards of honesty, and general security procedures and consequences for not following them. All employees should read it, understand it, and sign it as a condition of employment.
  • Engrave “DO NOT DUPLICATE” on keys to the building.
  • Limit employee access to keys, the safe, computerized records, and alarm codes.
  • Change locks and access codes when an employee is terminated.
  • If employee theft is discovered, take action quickly. Contact local law enforcement agency to send a message to your employees that theft will not be tolerated.
  • Reward employees for uncovering security problems.

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.