Having the right locks & security equipment as well as the right employee policies can help protect small businesses from employee theft
According to the US Chamber of Commerce, businesses lose a combined total of over $400 billion to employee theft and fraud each year. Small businesses have more trouble absorbing these kinds of losses, and experts have pointed to theft as a leading case of small business failure. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help protect your business against loss due to cash theft, inventory theft, time theft, and fraud on the part of employees and the public. Here are five tips to help you get started.
Screen Your Employees Carefully
Unfortunately, there really is no surefire way to predict whether or not an employee will prove to be honest and trustworthy. However, you can at least take steps to avoid hiring individuals who you know have committed theft or fraud in the past by running criminal background checks on all potential new hires. If you discover an applicant has a conviction, you won’t want to hire them for any position where they have easy and unsupervised access to cash, inventory, or your books.
Keep Inventory Locked
Securing your property, including any inventory or valuable equipment like computers and such, should be a no-brainer for the savvy small business owner. You will have a variety of options available to you, from locked cabinets to locked inventory rooms to padlocks for perimeter gates and safes for petty cash and other small valuables. Make sure you keep track of all keys that are issued for the various locks on your property and collect them whenever an employee leaves the company.
Consider an Access Control System
Access control systems basically replace traditional keyed locks with card readers or key pads. These systems have many advantages, but when it comes to preventing employee theft the chief advantage is that access control systems allow employers to track employee movements. If your employees realize that you have the ability to know who opened what lock and when, they will be less likely to make clandestine visits to supply rooms, access restricted areas, or take overly long breaks.
Install CCTV Cameras
Installing CCTV cameras can also help with loss prevention, because obviously no one wants their crimes caught on camera. Research has shown that cameras can serve as a deterrent even if they’re not actually hooked up or monitored, as long as employees and the public believe that the cameras are watching them. Plus, by having your CCTV cameras set up to record to video, you will have evidence in the event that a theft or other crime does occur.
Provide Adequate Employee Oversight & Accountability
Another key factor in preventing employee theft and fraud has to do with management. When employees feel like no one is supervising them, they tend to take liberties. But when they feel that they are working in a team where there is oversight from a supervisor or accountability from other employees checking their work, there will be fewer opportunities and less temptation to commit theft or fraud.
If you’re interested in beefing up security at your small business, pay your friendly neighborhood locksmith a visit!