An estimated 50 billion dollars are lost annually from US businesses due to employee theft. According to the International Foundation for Protection Officers, approximately 75% of all employees have stolen from their employers at least once in the duration of their careers. Of those, about half will steal again from the same employer.
To help keep your business from becoming one of these workplace theft statistics or cases, there are a few factors to take into consideration. To begin with, it’s important to identify what workplace theft is. In this case, it refers to any use of the employer’s assets without permission.
Money is what most people will think of when they are looking at workplace theft statistics, which adds up to the 50 billion dollars in revenue that are lost each year. However, workplace assets could include more than simply monetary amounts. Time is another asset that an employee could steal, if they are paid for time for which they did not work. This would include falsifying information on time sheets, which is one of the most common types of workplace theft. Stealing office supplies or product displays can be other ways to take advantage of company resources.
If you run a business in a retail environment, you will want to watch out for employees who overcharge customers and then take the extra cash that they charged. The danger with this type of common theft is that not only is money being taken from customers, but this could severely damage your company’s reputation. More sobering workplace theft statistics: employee theft is responsible for approximately 33% of all bankruptcies, and is seen in virtually every type of business.
According to the latest workplace theft statistics, most theft is undetected by supervisors or upper management. This makes it easy to overlook when subtle forms of employee theft are taking place, such as time or intellectual property theft, because it may not show up on the company ledgers. To help prevent these petty crimes establish a program of zero-tolerance. Address swiftly any situation where an employee is caught stealing, even if it is their first time.
Another thing employers may want to consider is conducting criminal background checks before hiring any new employees, to weed out those with a history of theft. Keeping a reliable accounting system and an open line of communication in the office can also go a long way towards preventing workplace theft.
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