Theft is a growing problem for businesses of all industries, with the biggest threat coming from company employees. Employee theft is estimated to cost U.S. businesses a total of $50 billion every year, so it's important to mitigate these losses if you own your own business.
Learn about four steps you can take to reduce the opportunity for employee theft and protect the long-term future of your business.
1. Install Interior and Exterior Cameras
Whether it's stealing major merchandise, taking home a few office supplies, or even wasting work time to browse social media, company theft by employees can quickly add up to significant losses for a business. Installing interior and exterior cameras throughout a work building can reduce the opportunity for theft and prevent the loss of property, cash, merchandise, or valuable work time.
Interior cameras should be discreetly installed in strategic locations so that upper management or security teams can monitor high target areas such as manager offices, cash safes, warehouses, supply closets, cash registers, stockrooms, equipment facilities, and mail rooms where theft can be rampant. This can help deter possible theft but also help identify employees or other individuals who do attempt to steal from the company.
2. Develop Better Inventory Management Systems
One of the reasons employees may be tempted to steal is the belief that "no one will notice it's missing." Often times merchandise or company equipment can go missing simply because there's not a good inventory system in place to identify if something is missing.
Your company should develop an in-depth inventory management system using automation or technology tools to track company property, especially high-value assets such as laptops, computer equipment, printers, tools, or big-ticket merchandise such as luxury goods or alcohol.
For example, a business office can have their IT department label all computer equipment with QR or bar codes to identify their specific location and the employees they're assigned to, and to track all other equipment on site. Retailers or restaurants can have cameras pointed towards their cash registers, high-value alcohol or luxury items, and stockrooms to ensure employees aren't taking merchandise or cash.
3. Enhance Building Security and Entry Points
Your company can also reduce possible property theft or losses by improving security for the building doors, windows, and other access points. Keycard access systems can ensure that management and security teams always know who has entered and exited the building and when, which can help identify when employees are there at a suspicious time or trying to access a restricted area.
In addition, security teams can stay one step ahead of employees with an intent to steal by regularly changing building entry codes for secured areas and alternating the times when they have a shift change to ensure employees don't have an opportunity to steal or break into the property.
4. Improve Employee Training
Finally, good employee training can help keep your business more secure by identifying key areas of common employee theft so that other employees and managers can be aware of what to look for. Often times a worker might see something suspicious but might not know where or how to report what they've seen.
Effective safety and theft training can teach employees where to report suspicious activity, and emphasize the importance of deterring employee theft. When employees understand how theft by their co-workers can impact their own job security, they're more likely to help keep one another on the straight and narrow, or report coworkers that might be planning to steal.
Aegis Insurance & Financial Services Protects Businesses
The bright future of your business should never be diminished by employee theft, so taking steps of action now can help protect the long-term success of your business and staff. Aegis Insurance & Financial Services is committed to protecting your business through our full range of Commercial Insurance policies, including Commercial Property Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance, General Liability, and more.