Tips for Business Owners to Reduce Employee Theft

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When you run a business of any sort, you may be concerned about employee theft, especially in a retail store or restaurant where items are easy to walk away with and very desirable to employees. While this type of practice is inevitable no matter the security measures you put into place, note a few tips for reducing this risk in your retail or other type of business.

1. Don't overlook hidden or "blind" areas of the business

You may have security cameras right above the cash registers of your business, but note that employee theft can happen outside the range of such a camera. For example, an employee may take money out of the register and then step back away from the counter before pocketing that money, and your camera may not pick it up; in turn, you may have no evidence to present to the police and your employee may get away with such a theft. An employee may also be prone to stealing goods off of shelves in the back of a store or restaurant where they can't be seen; don't assume that the registers are the only places where you need security cameras but keep them in other such "blind" areas of your business.

2. Control areas of inventory

It's good to have a security system that controls the point of entry for where you keep certain inventory; in a restaurant, you may not want every employee to have access to the freezer where you keep steaks and other such expensive items, so consider adding a lock with a pass code for that area. Do the same where you keep inventory of items you sell in a retail store, if they're small enough for an employee to simply pocket and walk out with.

3. Provide uniforms or limit wardrobe options

Many businesses don't allow employees to wear loose clothing or any item with pockets, as it's very easy to simply slide money or smaller items into those pockets or under your clothing. You can do the same by providing a uniform, or at least items like t-shirts for your employees, and limiting their wardrobe options. There is nothing to prevent you from saying that employees cannot wear sweatpants or other loose pants and that articles of clothing cannot have pockets or that they cannot wear shirts on top of shirts; you can also ensure that all backpacks, handbags, and other pieces are locked away safely before an employee starts their shift.