Employee theft continues to plague countless businesses. In fact, 2023 studies suggest that 75% of employees actually admit to having stolen from their employers at least once. And roughly 95% of all US companies are adversely affected by theft. Despite your best efforts to hire incredible team members, you’ll still need to take proactive action to reduce the risks of company theft. Today, we’ll share innovative insights on how you can do that, including the use of an ethics hotline.
1. Identify the Various Risks of Theft in Your Workplace Environment
Start by identifying the key theft risks in your company. Theft can occur anywhere and include data theft, cash drawer theft, or company supply theft. Each business will have its own risks. And identifying yours is the first step toward taking preventative measures. These theft examples tend to be the most prevalent.
· Bookkeeping theft in the form of money or asset mismanagement.
· Payroll theft in the form of misappropriation of funds or payments.
· Inventory theft in the form of stolen goods or products.
· Cash theft in the form of petty cash theft, retail cash theft, or register theft.
· Data theft in the form of private client data or proprietary company data.
· Supply theft in the form of office supplies or company property.
· Time theft in the form of paying employees who aren’t working.
2. Provide Ample Ethics Training to Staff
Be forthcoming and transparent with your employees about what defines theft in your company. Taking home a ream of copy paper might be an innocent mistake if the employee isn’t trained to know that company supplies for personal use is theft. Create definitions and enforce ongoing training to keep your teams informed about theft definitions, theft reporting channels, and repercussions for employee theft.
3. Use Theft Mitigation Solutions
Once you understand your company’s theft risks and have taken the steps to implement proper staff training, you can begin to introduce other innovative solutions to monitor and prevent employee theft. These mitigations might include:
· Routine audits of inventory or finances
· Installation of common area surveillance
· Improved software for data monitoring and safeguarding
· Enforce stricter security measures, i.e., locking offices
· Implement management sign-off on activities
4. How an Ethics Hotline Helps to Prevent Theft Damages
Another effective measure for reducing the risks of theft in your company is an ethics hotline. This anonymous channel for reporting allows anyone who suspects or witnesses a theft to call the incident to your attention. This is especially helpful when you can’t be present in all corners of your operations. And anyone can report theft, including staff, vendors, customers, or visitors. These reports will allow you to investigate further and take action to reduce the damage. Additionally, the ethics hotline provides you with data-rich insights ongoing to track reports and potential risks and watch for emerging threats.
Take the mitigation steps you need to reduce the risks of theft in your company. And when you’re ready to explore an ethics hotline for your business, Ethical Advocate can help!