By Emily Harper
Theft in the workplace has always been a problem in the U.S. Many brokers and other business owners look to practical yet effective solutions to reduce theft at their place of work. Workplace theft has increased in recent years, and now that many businesses have provided work-from-home options, the chances increase for external theft such as break-ins.
How can you prevent theft in the workplace? Installing an alarm monitoring system is one of the most effective solutions. Investing in an alarm system may entail spending time and money, but it will prove its worth in the long run by helping protect your office equipment.
Besides installing cameras, here are several theft prevention tips you can apply at your workplace in order to prevent or reduce theft:
Treat your employees well
A recent survey showed that among workers who have stolen from their company, a fifth of these respondents believe that stealing is okay because they feel underpaid and mistreated. This shows that as an employer, you can reduce theft in your workplace by treating your employees well and making them feel valued.
While it's true that they work for you, without them, your company wouldn't function—so it's best to take good care of them. The more you treat them well, the more they'll feel inclined to treat you the same way. This could prevent them from stealing from your company in order to maintain your trust.
Do a thorough background check on applicants
Another practical way to prevent theft in the workplace is to make sure you hire the right people. Your human resources (HR) staff should be fully equipped to perform thorough background checks on applicants before hiring them.
Insight from past employers can also be helpful when assessing an applicant's attitude toward work. This will also help determine if they have previously committed any misconduct in another office setting.
Conduct regular audits
As a company owner, do you know where your money goes? Be hands-on when it comes to performing regular audits and invite an impartial, third-party auditor to regularly perform impromptu inspections to really assess your accounts. Be cautious of red flags found in your financial statements. These will help determine how your staff handles the company finances and whether or not an employee of yours might be stealing from you.
Establish a system of checks and balances
Remember: You should not entrust all accounting and bookkeeping work to a sole individual. Make sure proper systems are in place for any work that involves cash, financial accounts, bookkeeping and accounting. This way, aside from keeping a close eye on your finances, team members can keep tabs on one another's performance, making sure no one is committing fraud or stealing from you.
Create easy ways for employees to report theft
Despite your best efforts, you cannot possibly keep an eye on all your employees at all times. Witnesses should feel safe when reporting any criminal activity to their supervisors. Consider implementing a whistleblower policy that will ensure the protection and anonymity of whistleblowers in your company. This will encourage them to come forward and help deter offenders within your organization.
Look for any weakness in your workplace
Once you have installed a reliable security system, another way to reduce theft in the workplace is by making sure your office is not easy to break into. Inspect walls, locks and all entrances for any weak spots that need to be reinforced.
Keeping your workplace safe is hard work. Fortunately, you're not alone in reducing theft in your office. In addition to having the best security system installed, take the time to train your security personnel and make your employees feel valued. By applying these simple tips, you can reduce theft in your workplace.
Emily Harper is an environment/sustainability/health and women advocate. She is also fond of analyzing the home structure and design, and has been a home stylist and consultant. She is an active community member, concerning community improvement and security. She loves to write about her two kids, home and living. Interested in purchasing an alarm monitoring system? Harper recommends working with the Alarm System Store.