Each year millions of businesses fail; 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% of small businesses fail in the first five years. Many of them do not succeed due to theft. Yes, many companies experience theft and understand that people will attempt to steal their products, material and services. However, what do you do when the thieves are your own employees?
Employee theft is prevalent today. Many companies spend significant dollars on ensuring that someone cannot break in to their store and leave without paying for merchandise or services.
Clearly measures need to be put in place to test, monitor and ensure that employees have your best interest in mind. One must pose the question: “Are my employees truly friendly, knowledgeable and most importantly trustworthy? “
Let’s take a look at a business that was experiencing theft in Queens. This company hired a security guard because someone was removing approximately $2,000.00 worth of material and equipment weekly. Once the guard started, the theft stopped. However, approximately two months later the theft started again. Believing that our guard was performing his duties properly, we installed a hidden camera at the location. What did we uncover? An employee that had been with this company for nearly fifteen years was responsible for these thefts. That is a loss of over a $100,000 dollars a year.
So think about it: what liabilities does your company have? What steps are you taking to protect your business, investments and family from financial harm? As business owners, we would all like to believe that our employees have our best interest in mind. Unfortunately that is not realistic.
Some simple steps that we would recommend to businesses to keep them from being victimized from employees as well as the general public: First, every business in this day and age should utilize video cameras. Video cameras will not only deter and prevent theft, but they will also limit employees and outside visitors from claiming injuries in your establishment when they in fact did not. Next, you need to start spending quality time on who you are hiring. You can accomplish this by establishing a procedure when hiring new employees. They should be interviewed by at least two members of your staff. During the screening process, ensure that you contact the potential employee’s past employers and references. Many companies do not take the time to perform this simple step when it is actually very crucial. The former employers may be able to tell you vital information that will help you make an informative decision.
In the next column we will give tips on how YOU can keep employees as honest as possible.
John Rafferty is a retired Lieutenant from the N.Y.P.D. He formed WATCH GUARD 24/7, a private investigation and security company in 2009. While he was a member of the department he was involved in multiple areas of law enforcement, where he dealt with crime prevention as well as conducting investigations. Upon his departure from the N.Y.P.D. he was one of the highest decorated members of the department. He has since focused his attention on helping the private sector.