Employers have to prevent employee theft. This is a serious problem that is easy to overlook if you aren’t aware of the signs. Around 75% of employees admit that they have stolen from an employer at least one time, and 38% admit that they have done it at least two times.
Some of the signs of employee theft might be obvious. These include things like missing petty cash or supplies. In some cases, the theft comes in the form of padded paychecks or invoices paid to phantom entities.
You can help prevent monetary losses from occurring by dividing the accounting duties between multiple employees. This sets up a checks and balances system. You also need to perform financial audits.
Besides being vigilant to watch for these signs, you also must have a clear plan for addressing these problems. First, have an anonymous reporting system so anyone can fill you in on suspected thefts. Second, you must conduct a thorough investigation into the situation. Third, follow through with the employment actions that the situation warrants.
As you are handling these situations, be sure you never outright accuse the employee of theft. This is a very delicate situation. You don’t need to say or do anything that is going to cause legal problems down the road for your company.
You can’t just ignore this if it is happening at your company. Around one-third of small businesses that go bankrupt do so because of employee theft. Since you have to confront the problem, it is best to know how to do this. Having your plan in place for these situations can protect your company.