Employee fraud and theft is an issue that no-one seems to want to talk about, but ignoring this problem doesn’t make it go away. And for all that you’d like to see the best in your employees, you should remain mindful of the fact that 75% of all employees have stolen from their companies at least once. In fact, businesses lose about 5% of their annual revenue to various types of fraud and theft from their own staff.
The smaller the business, the more vulnerable it is. So while this matter is not a pleasant topic to discuss or even think about, you do have to remain on top of it. Prevention should be your priority, but you also need to prepare for the worst and assume that your employees are the same as others. This means there is a risk of them stealing from you or otherwise cheating or harming your business, sand o you need to keep a very close eye.
The Importance of Monitoring for Dealing with Employee Fraud and Theft
You cannot be 100% confident of preventing employees from stealing from you. But it is within your power to apprehend them when they do and so to minimize the damage. To do this you need to invest in top-quality tracking and monitoring tech.
Start simple with surveillance cameras and an appropriate security system. These will serve the dual purpose of monitoring your employees as well as scaring away prospective thieves from outside. And even when they don’t succeed in stopping them, these security measures will make it easier to catch the perpetrators.
In the meantime you should be using specialized technologies for tracking business assets. These solutions will allow you to know where all of your assets are at any time. Also, good inventory software which integrates with GPS, RFID, and barcode tracking will make it much easier to manage your business. And a more efficient company makes more money.
Don’t forget about your cybersecurity as well. Many of the solutions that protect you from hackers can also be used to secure your data from being tampered with by your employees. Be sure to activate these features, just in case.
These basic monitoring tools help your business in various ways, and employee fraud and theft detection is only one of them. There is then no excuse for you not to have them installed. With these protections in place, you are then able to concentrate on primary prevention.
How to Prevent Employee Fraud and Theft: Give People No Reason to Do It
The first thing you should do to prevent employee fraud and theft is to ask why would people do it.
The answer is different for everyone, but the most common cause is that they are in need. This is the case whether it is more money, better career perspectives or even a better way to exercise their minds and skills.
Therefore, the key to employee theft and fraud prevention is to provide your employees with plenty of opportunities so they have no need to cheat you. It is also important to provide them with good care, so that they develop loyalty and affection for the company.
But giving people no reason to resort to fraud or theft will only protect you so far, and as such you need to ensure that your employees are aware of the possible consequences of such actions. Provide them with training and regular anti-fraud workshops so they know that you are aware of this issue and are taking steps to prevent it. People are much less likely to commit fraud or theft if they know the risk of getting caught is higher.
This means you need to display some of the security measures you have installed for this exact purpose, but not all of them as you don’t want your employees developing more effective pilfering strategies by learning your safeguards and finding ways around them.
Also, have your trusted managers work closely with the team, keeping an eye out for any unusual behaviors. Provide them with specialized training to detect fraud and solutions that will help them to collect evidence.
At the same time you also need to use similar solutions to keep an eye on those managers. Even if you trust them, it’s business and you need to be sure. People who work with you should understand this and agree to an acceptable level of surveillance and monitoring in the workplace.
Another important thing that can help you prevent employee fraud and theft is improving your hiring practices. Use specialized services to run thorough background checks on every candidate. Also, pay attention to the person’s values and moral code, not only their professional skills.
The best way to protect your business is to build a team WHICH values honesty and integrity and will adhere to a proper code of conduct. Focus on the people you bring into your business and try to find those who are most likely to fall in with these ideals. But have solutions in place to deal with the problem if they turn out not to be trustworthy.
Kate Bregovic is a wife, mother, freelance writer and fitness enthusiast. She covers many topics – from business management trends to fitness regimes. When she’s not writing, she’s planning outdoor activities for her family, cooking or working out at the gym. Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrs.kate.bregovic