Most business owners will spend so much time and money ensuring that external thieves are kept out that they sometimes forget to take the appropriate precautions to prevent thieves acting closer to home. As an experienced Leeds-based security company, we’ve seen a number of cases over the years where businesses have become targets of crime and theft with an employee at the centre of the crime. Once an employee becomes a trusted and well-known member of staff, it is all too easy for them to commit crime right under their employer’s nose. Studies have revealed that most employees who commit workplace crime do so because they feel under pressure from an outsider, feel unappreciated and undervalued or believe that they are not being treated fairly and thus deserve to help themselves to company property. Not being able to trust your staff can cause your business to struggle, so here’s everything you need to know about preventing and tackling employee theft in future…
Run thorough background checks
When you’re in a rush to hire a new member of staff to continue the smooth operation of your business, it is tempting to skip the background checks and get them straight to work. Running thorough background checks could reveal past incidents where your new employee has been involved in (or accused of) crime, so it is worth ensuring you make use of all references provided and do some digging of your own. Previous employers should be able to give you a good idea of the type of employee you are about to hire, and will either help to put your mind at ease or warn you to be extra cautious.
Communicate conduct guidelines clearly
An excuse often employed by employees caught with their hands in the cookie jar is that they ‘didn’t realise taking company property was not allowed.’ To prevent any confusion, rules and regulations should be stated clearly in your employees’ contracts and also communicated clearly in other ways. The company code of conduct should be revisited and reviewed regularly by both you and your employees so that everyone is aware of any changes and can be reminded of the consequences of breaking the rules. While it might do little to prevent a theft from occurring, it will certainly help when pressing charges against any guilty parties.
Most employers would like their office to be a comfortable and relaxing environment in which for their employees to work, and so often implement an open workspace to ensure all staff members feel equal and a part of the team. However, should you want the same, this does not mean that you cannot also introduce certain restrictions. If there is data that you would prefer only senior members of the team have access to, then it is worth setting up separate passwords or creating private, locked cupboards and storerooms for sensitive documents. This way, you can monitor those who have access to anything of value and notice if anyone else attempts to gain access.
Setting up cameras in offices is an idea that has been discussed often over the past few years. Many have been concerned that it will make their employees feel untrusted and uncomfortable, while others have said it is simply precautionary and should make them feel safer in their work environment. Cameras are not the only form of effective business security, however. Manned guarding can work to deter criminals from taking any action against your business, as a guard can be seen protecting your property every day, and these individuals are trained to recognise any unusual or suspicious behaviour. Mobile patrols could also ensure that any suspicious activities that might be taking place outside of your property are duly noted.
Constantly being wary of your employees is no way to run a business, but taking the necessary precautions should help you to rest at ease knowing that your business is protected. If you’re interested in increasing your business security or would like further tips and advice from the team of security professionals at Acclaimed Security here in Leeds, explore our website or get in touch today.