You probably don’t think much of sending a trusted employee to the back door to check in a shipment, or to take the trash out when you’re busy. Have you ever stopped to think if anyone you’ve ever employed had stolen from you? Chance are, if your back door was wide open, you were most likely the victim of a dishonest employee. Taking a step as simple as controlling access to your back door, can help you to stop employee theft.
Last back to school season I got a call from a manager from one of my stores. He stated that he was missing 25 cases of red school uniform shirts. He stated that he had personally received them into his store 3 weeks ago and when he went to set the display, he discovered that they were gone. He tore his store to pieces trying to find the product, but with no luck. He was pretty distraught over the loss, since each case had about $400 worth of shirts. I asked him to provide me some additional details and I started an investigation. After reviewing the camera footage, it didn’t take me long to see where the merchandise had gone to.
I contacted the manager a few days later and asked what the procedure was in his store for taking trash out to the dumpster. He said that normally his maintenance employee would take all of the store’s trash out. I followed up by asking a question I already knew… Who lets the maintenance employee out of the back door? The manager said he would routinely give his keys to the employee because he trusted that employee. I felt bad telling this manager that his trusted employee had taken him for $10,000. This was no sophisticated theft scheme. There were not a lot of moving parts either. The associate just found merchandise that he wanted to steal and simply walked them out the back door since he had his own key.
Think about your stores. Is this a common practice for you? How can you stop employee theft when you are giving your employee the tools and the means to steal profits from your own pockets? As managers, or store owners you should develop a store policy where only a manager, or supervisor (those already entrusted to a store key) opens your doors. There’s a reason we don’t give an hourly associate a key to the store. Most stores, no matter the size, will hurt when $10,000 dollars walks out of the store. Think of the hours you could provide to your honest employees, potential sales bonuses and not to mention the profits of that extra cash. You should be proactive, not reactive, in order to stop employee theft.
Whether you want to believe it or not, chances are you’ve had an employee steal from your store. Whether it was something as small as a 20oz drink, or cases of merchandise, these dishonest employees hurt your bottom line. Don’t let your profits walk away. Have a program in place and stick to it. Just remember that any policy is only as strong as those who enforce it.
For more information, contact us at Stop Employee Theft, or call 1.770.426.0547