5 Tips and Tricks to Prevent Employee Theft


Sorry employers, but you’ve probably lost or are still losing money because of employee theft. A whopping 75% of employees have stolen at least once from their employees (Forbes). And, that’s not accounting for the employees that get away with it!

Employee theft can be a massive issue, but we’re here to help. Here are 5 tips and tricks to prevent employee theft once and for all.

  1. Create a Zero-Tolerance Policy

    Employees will take you more seriously if you adopt a zero-tolerance policy that clearly outlines the consequences of theft. Make it clear that there is no three-strike system. Stealing is a serious offense for any sized business, and it is completely reasonable to terminate an employee immediately for this act. Draft a zero-tolerance policy, and then ask each employee to read and sign the policy.

    Once you clearly communicate your expectations and consequences, most employees will think twice before stealing from you.

  2. Conduct Background Checks

    Prevent employee theft by conducting background checks before officially welcoming any employee onto your team. While the system isn’t perfect, a study found that 92% of fraud cases had at least one reported behavioral red flag prior to a fraud being committed. (ACFE). Pay attention to red flags that involve employment-related problems and anything legal-related.

    Contrary to common belief, background checks don’t have to be hard or time-consuming either. Services like Good Hire will handle employee screening and background checks at reasonable prices, and offer you peace of mind.

  3. Conduct Regular Audits and Inventory Checks

    Audits – both official and unofficial ones – should be regularly conducted every few months to catch thieves in the act. Work with a bookkeeper or accountant to maintain accurate numbers, and to figure out discrepancies if they occur. Real-time inventory management systems are also viable to deter employees from stealing.

  4. Nurture and Strengthen Morale

    Sorry, but if you’re a rude or condescending boss, your employees won’t care even if your business goes under. Happy and well-treated employees are less likely to steal because they have a genuine connection with you and care about you. When employees don’t think you’re being fair or reasonable, the opposite happens.

    So, how do you convince your employees that you’re a superstar employer? Always be willing to listen to your employees, invest in team trust-building, and honor work-life balances. Oh, and a box of donuts once in a while, certainly won’t hurt your rep in the office.

  5. Create An Easy Way For Employees to Report Theft

    It’s not fair for some employees to work hard while others gain simply by cheating the system. Don’t be a snitch? That doesn’t apply when it comes to work. If you’re a good boss, your honest employees would be more than willing to report their employees. After all, a negatively performing company means their job security may be at risk. It is in your interest to establish a safe and anonymous channel (e.g. a simple Google form) to report fraudulent activities.