Theft In The Workplace And How To Prevent It

Recent statistics obtained from the Australian Federal Police indicate that a little over 70% of all fraudulent losses are due to either former employees or current members of staff. This alone is costing businesses over $1.5 billion a year. The problem is that it isn’t simply the cost of the theft that the business has to suffer. They also have to deal with low staff morale and if the perpetrator is caught, the costs of new recruitment and any ongoing prosecution costs.

The good news is that there are clear and concise measures that you can put in place in order to limit workplace theft and these are as follows.

Thorough recruitment checks

When was the last time you did a background check on a potential candidate before hiring them? Most employers simply assume that because the candidate has a glowing resume, they’re going to be the perfect addition to your team. While a comprehensive check can prevent bad hiring decisions, it’s also likely to protect your company. Instead look to speak to past employers and find out more about the candidate. Also run a quick web search. Simply Google their name and see what comes up. It will give you an insight into their personality and the type of things they blog/write about or use on their personal profiles. Remember a thorough background check can also turn out to be positive because it should help you in your decision to hire the right person.

Monitor key holding

If you have stationary cupboards, stock rooms, or safes then ensure that you only give trusted personnel access. Keep a signed record of who has control of the keys and when and ensure that all keys are returned at the end of the day and never leave the building. Most importantly, hold keyholders accountable for the safety and security of their keys.

Regular stock checks

Carrying out regular stock checks has two benefits. Firstly it makes it easy to spot if there is a stock anomaly and by carrying out investigative checks it makes it easier to pinpoint when that particular stock loss occurred. However more importantly, it sends a message to your employees that you’re on the ball when it comes to safeguarding your stock.


CCTV is a very useful tool. Few people would risk being caught stealing on camera and losing their job. As such it can be a major deterrent. If you haven’t already installed a surveillance system in your workplace, you’ll need to bear in mind that employees have to be told that they’re being filmed. As well as safeguarding theft, CCTV can safeguard staff from other related workplace incidents such as instances of bullying or sexual harassment.

As you can see, most of the measures don’t actually cost anything apart from a bit of organisation, pre-planning and time. While that in itself may seem like extra hassle you don’t need, think of it this way… it’s nothing compared to losing hundreds or thousands of dollars off your bottom line in employee theft. Don’t make your business a soft target.

If you’d like more information on how you can protect your business further, talk to MA Security. We been providing manned security and security advice to business throughout the Melbourne area for many years. Contact us on 1300 020 406 and talk to an expert today.

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