RECOGNIZING EMPLOYEE THEFT FROM MANAGERS
While a lot of time has been spent on recognizing Employee Theft, as a business owner, you have to know that your managers are just as capable of stealing from you than your hourly teams. Moreover, managers have a unique ability to steal even more and go undetected even longer because they know the controls that are in place and they know how to beat them. As the owner of the business, you need to trust, but verify, all activity from your managers.
Over my career in Loss Prevention, I have had a dozen or so store managers that were arrested for theft. You can have every program working 100% to Stop Shoplifting, but one dishonest manager can completely derail an entire year’s worth of financial success. While the number of manager theft cases that I’ve had are relatively small over a 12 year period, they’ve all accounted for the absolute highest and most prolific thefts of any case I’ve worked. Those 12 cases have a higher combined case value that all of my cases over the last 5 years combined. Millions of dollars. So how do you determine if a manager is stealing from you?
Entering and Exiting the Store at Odd Hours
Hopefully, you have an alarm system for your store. If not, please stop reading now and have one installed yesterday. This is something that is an absolute necessity. Preventing a burglary is just as important to your store as it is to Stop Shoplifting. The great thing about modern business alarm systems, is that you can generally receive reporting on when the system was armed/disarmed. You should often review this data, as it will show you when a manager entered the store, and when they left, as well as everything in between. If your store is open from 8am-8pm, there’s no reason for a manager to come back in the store at 1am, right?
Bank Deposit Issues
If you are trusting a manager to deposit the day’s earnings each night, be wary of banking errors. If your store counted $2,000 on Friday and your statement shows that $1950 was deposited, you likely have an issue of Employee Theft by one of your managers. While banking errors are more common that we’d care to admit, consistent issues by one manager in particular should be a strong clue that forces you to look further.
You’ll find it hard to Stop Shoplifting if you have sets of your keys “lost” in the world. Granted, it’s human to lose a set of keys at least once in your life. I’ve lost a set of store keys once. It was a learning experience and It’s never happened since. If you have a manager that continues to “lose keys”, then there’s probably something happening that shouldn’t be. Always change your locks when keys go missing. It’s also a great idea to have policies that spell out disciplinary action for managers that do lose their keys.
Frequent Large Discounts
Your managers are empowered to run your business. That often means approving discounts for a variety of reasons. Managers can easily slip from “taking care of a customer” to Employee Theft. Managers that give out discounts freely to everyone they know are quite popular with customers, but they are a detriment to your bottom line.
Unexplained Cashier Shortages
What if, all of a sudden, cashiers started coming up a few dollars short every day? Not just one or two, but every single one of them. Cashiers that have been solid for years are suddenly missing $2-$3 dollars every shift. This was actually one of my biggest cases where a manager was stealing cash. Every time this particular manager finalized a cashier, she would swipe a few bucks and run the cashier short. This went on for years before she was caught and costed the store several hundred thousand dollars over time.
Preventing employee theft is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.