Firing something for theft is pretty easy if you have evidence of wrongdoing. The problem is that theft is often difficult to prove definitively, which means you can only hand out a caution. Here are a few ideas to help you gather enough evidence for a caution. In many cases, if the staff member is truly guilty, they will quit shortly after the caution. Even if they do not, the evidence you gather for the caution is the start of a paper trail which you can build upon and use later to justify the firing of the employee without any worries about wrongful dismissal lawsuits. Of course, your POS system is a great way to tell if employees have stolen money from the company. Read on to learn about how to catch employee theft with enough evidence for a caution.
Use Fuel Cards
Rather than having staff pay for fuel and then bring the receipts, or having them use company credit cards, you should find a good fuel card comparison service, and find a fuel card that fits the size and requirements of your business.
Fuel card companies provide software that helps identify theft. It shows things like double charging, charge-backs, and abnormal fuel consumption, which may suggest your staff are taking detours, or are filling up fuel canisters in order to steal. Fuel card software also shows you if the staff are using the cards for other means, such as shopping for something other than fuel.
Rather than taking in receipts, which are a ripe area for staff to steal and defraud, and rather than using credit cards where your admin staff have to manually look for theft, you can use fuel cards and get alerts whenever your staff act inappropriately.
Listen As Well As Watch
If employees are working on your premises, then what you overhear is not snooping. This is true even if you are listening with devices rather than crouching behind a corner. Notably, you cannot fire people for talking about theft or digital crisis management, but you can caution them if you do it right.
When you buy and install surveillance cameras for business, do not be afraid to also install listening devices under desks, by vending machines, and in warehouses with staff’s consent. Indeed, this can minimize theft in your company.
Rather than saying you have a recording of them talking about their theft, say that an anonymous whistleblower in the company has picked them out as thieves, and use the information you overheard to verify that claim. Again, you cannot fire somebody in this manner, but you can offer a caution, and you will probably convince the thief that it isn’t worth trying to steal because they will be caught.
Create A Lost Property Protocol
One of the less talked about crimes is employees stealing from other employees. In most cases, the employees cannot be sure they have been robbed. In many cases, they will think they lost their items, and so will check the lost property box.
Encourage your staff to fill out a report for the things they lost. Perhaps start a protocol where staff fill out lost property forms detailing where they may have lost it, where they normally keep it, and when they think they lost it.
Not only may you check cameras for where and when the theft may have taken place, but you may also search the cameras for other people having and possessing the missing items, including in the parking lot where staff deposit the items in their cars. Notably, business intelligence software can also assist you with your business decisions.
In addition, the lost property protocol helps you identify patterns, since many thieves will pick target areas and re-visit them in order to find new theft opportunities. Eliminating staff-on-staff theft may not seem like a big money saver for your company, but there are two benefits. The first is that disgruntled staff issues become less prevalent, and secondly is because you need people you can trust in your company, and they are not people you can trust if they are stealing.
Develop An Anti-Theft Policy
Moreover, you can also develop an anti-theft policy to prevent stealing in the workplace. Ideally, you should emphasize that losses suffered by the company can impact all employees’ job security. Importantly, this gives everyone within the company a warning and a reason not to steal. In addition, you should explicitly mention in your policy that your organization does not tolerate stealing. You might include a statement that say company materials may not be removed from the premises without prior approval. Additionally, you should include the company’s terms and conditions for when theft is suspected. This may entail practices for employee monitoring, electronic surveillance, and polygraph testing. Absolutely, develop an anti-theft policy to ensure your employees understand it is not tolerated in your business.