No employer wants to believe that their trusted employees could be stealing from the company or committing any kind of crime against the business. But the truth is that theft and fraud do occur from within businesses both large and small. Here are some top tips to help your business prevent theft and other crimes by employees.
Draw up a code of conduct
Employees need to completely understand what is expected of them. To you, certain behavioural issues might seem obvious, but practice varies from company to company so you need to set down exactly what is acceptable in your business and what is not. Clearly it goes without saying that issues such as theft and fraud are unacceptable, but sometimes there are certain aspects of the business culture that can set them down a bad path.
For example, take something as simple as stationery. If you have got not checks on what stationery is being bought or used, things can get out of hand, and employees could start taking advantage of the situation for their own gain. Write up a code of conduct and make sure that anyone involved with the business has read it.
Create policies and procedure
It’s important to implement policies and procedures into your business. Theft and fraud can only occur when there is no system set up to track for it, so for as long as you have a casual approach to your tasks, your business can be at risk. For example it might be necessary to have two different people sign off on any company spending, to ensure that no-one is using business money for themselves.
Additionally have policies in place to change passwords and key codes regularly. This way, only a specific number of people will know how to access the building or internal systems. This makes it much harder for employees to commit fraud.
Understand who is working and when
This leads on to an additional point in that it’s smart to have a good understanding of which members of staff are working at what times. The reason for this is so that if you do find that fraud or theft has been committed and you can pinpoint the time, you know exactly who the employees are that could be responsible for it. So it’s a good idea to invest in workforce planning software, which allows you to keep track of your employees at all times.
Look out for warning signs
It’s important also to note that while it may not be obvious that an employee is committing fraud or theft, there are warning signs that it’s worth being aware of. One sign is an employee who spends excessively on extravagances that you don’t notice in employees in similar positons – it could be regular new cars or expensive holidays. However, it might not necessarily be as simple as this. Another interesting thing to look out for is the employee that never takes a holiday – this could be because they release that their theft would be uncovered by anyone carrying out their job in their absence.
Manage inventory properly
Clearly one of the most important ways to stop employees from stealing from your inventory is to properly track and manage it. Some dishonest employees may be willing to take advantage of a system if there is no way to track their wrong-doing. But if they are never given that opportunity, because the inventory is well managed, you can reduce or eliminate the problem.
Invest in IT security measures
It’s also worth noting that not all employee theft is physical and can often involve making use of business computer systems to transfer money and more. One of the best ways to prevent this is to ensure that employees have to log in to their own private profile to carry out any work on the IT system – this means that all of their activities will be tracked.
Have your accounts review externally
Finally, one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to employee fraud is the accounts department. This is unfortunately one of the easiest places for money to misplaced or diverted for someone’s personal gain. To counteract this problem it’s a good idea to regularly have your accounts reviewed externally, so that they will pick up on any discrepancies.