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In today’s competitive marketplace, when every penny counts, no business can afford not to invest in loss prevention measures.

Irrespective of the motivation, theft in the workplace is never acceptable. Whether it’s stealing a pen, taking cash from a till or defrauding the company – it’s all theft.

What causes theft in the workplace?

Numerous studies have revealed that employees know stealing is unethical yet it doesn’t stop them doing it.  Those who have been caught cite the following reasons with alarming regularity:

  • It was so easy to do that they couldn’t resist the temptation
  • Other more senior staff did it, so why shouldn’t they?
  • They felt undervalued or treated unfairly by the company

In most cases where theft was established the employees responsible didn’t have financial difficulties.

What to do if you suspect employee theft

If you suspect one of your employees is stealing it’s not a good idea to accuse them without proof. You might find evidence via security cameras or perhaps on their computer. It may be that you’ve noticed over time that the employee has changed their behaviour. Perhaps they have become less competent or even careless.  Behavioural change alone, without actual evidence, is not enough to confront them. The best you can do is discreetly monitor them and hope they make a mistake.

When you have gathered enough proof against the employee you’ll need to get some legal advice. If your solicitor believes you have sufficient evidence of guilt, you can go ahead and confront your employee. The faster you do this the better.  Giving them advance notice of an interview is not good practice. The more time they have, the more likely it is that they will fabricate lies about their involvement. Just tell the employee that you would like a private chat, during lunch or at the end of the day.  Be nonchalant about it so that they don’t think it is anything particularly serious.

The confrontation

When the interview begins, explain calmly why you have requested the private chat. Wait for them to respond. Depending how confident they feel, it’s possible they’ll deny stealing from you. As you present your evidence it’s highly likely they’ll confess. However, if they don’t you may have to consider calling the police or taking court action.

The crucial element in this type of loss prevention is that you acquire cast iron proof before you take action. If you don’t you may find yourself a target of a law suit for slander especially if your suspicions prove to be unfounded.  The damage to your reputation is something to consider too.

If you suspect an employee is stealing from you, often the mention of a lie detector test will elicit a confession.

 Loss Prevention with Employee Screening

As with most unpleasant and damaging situations in life, prevention is better than cure.  Employee screening with lie detector tests is one of the methods smart companies and recruiters use. This is particularly true when employees are likely to be handling cash or sensitive information. In the security and childcare industries polygraph examinations are becoming the norm. The integrity of prospective candidates is tested to make sure they have no hidden secrets.

To learn more about loss prevention strategies the highly trained polygraph examiners at Lie Detector Test UK will be happy to share their knowledge with you. Contact us today for a confidential, no obligation chat

Employee Theft and Loss Prevention Strategies
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