To kick-off 2020, I have listed below three things that I consider to be the most critical steps that any company can take to help minimize internal theft:
1.) New-Hire Process: For decades, we have said that the number one most important step in controlling employee theft begins at the point of hire. After the candidate has completed all of the required application forms, perform a detailed review of those documents. Look for any gaps in employment or other questionable indicators. The purpose of this review is to help structure your interview questions and ensure that all required forms are signed and completed.
Some companies have a policy of checking only two previous job references. We are not in favor of this type of screening, as it not uncommon to find that some applicants may have reached that number in just a few months or so. We like to go back between 5 and 7 years. A thorough structured interview, along with a reasonable background check, will go a long way in helping to prevent the hiring of a “bad apple”. For younger applicants, keep in mind that many state laws prohibit release of juvenile records.
2.) Climate of Honesty: Without question, the most essential variable in creating a climate of honesty starts at the top. It’s all about attitudes! If managers consistently have positive attitudes toward honesty and show that they are highly ethical, and will not condone dishonesty or lying in any form, and that you also expect the same from your staff, it becomes obvious: Dishonesty, on any level, will not be tolerated! In addition, no ‘double standards’ – policies and procedures should apply to all – from your newest hire to your most trusted associate.
3.) Multiple Tasking: It amazes me at the number of easily preventable significant thefts that are allowed to take place in all sorts of businesses daily. While the type of companies may differ, the method of these theft schemes, whether in retail or not, are generally the same: A ‘trusted’ employee takes advantage of a weak or ignored internal control as well as the trust placed in them by their manager or boss. It is a game of ‘checks and balances’, no one individual should be performing multiple tasks.
Well, as you have seen above, those are my three simple, inexpensive, and effective ways to help minimize internal theft! Have a great and prosperous upcoming year! $