For most companies, it’s become increasingly difficult to avoid employee theft, as the growth of such theft has skyrocketed.
A U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey estimates that 75 percent of all employees steal at least once, and that half of these steal repeatedly. According to the same survey, employee dishonesty costs American businesses in excess of $50 billion annually.
The survey backed up research conducted by my firm. The rate of employee theft steadily held at 15 percent from 1969 to 2006. The figure began to skyrocket during the third quarter of 2006 to an alarming 75 percent in 2012.
The trend of employee theft has become a growing concern to company executives where profit margins have become razor thin and a dishonest employee can lead to major losses.
It is often recommended to conduct a security evaluation overseen an independent private investigative team to review a company’s overall security department and safeguard a company’s assets. The comprehensive security risk analysis can provide an objective look into a company’s security systems and structure. Once conducted, the investigative service can provide specific solutions that can be implemented both in the short- and long-term goals to prevent employee theft in the future.
Here are some basic tips a CEO can implement to minimize the risk of employee theft in your business:
- Conduct Background Checks on Employees – Background checks on employees will help reduce risk of fraud, embezzlement, substance abuse, and criminal activity within the business. Bad employees are expensive. An employment check is not. New businesses are particularly vulnerable and pre-employment checks are a must.
- Watch for Red Flags – Most employers don’t know they have been deceived until it’s too late, but there are red flags companies can watch for. Major lifestyle changes are a big red flag to those observant. Things to consider: falsifying records, petty theft, accounting misconduct, and family partnerships which are not being audited. It’s best to know your company’s margins and if they’re shrinking, find out why.
- Interview and Interrogation – For many companies, the first plan of attack in uncovering an employee theft may be to plant an undercover agent in a store or warehouse. This is expensive and can take up to four months to determine the perpetrator. A more effective approach is to conduct a series of interviews and interrogation sessions. Interviews and interrogations are less costly, less timely and more effective in identifying potential problem areas.
Do you have any questions about how to hire investigative services to protect your company’s assets? Please let me know and I would be pleased to address your concerns.