Whose Today’s Guest?
Misozi Mkandawire is the Managing Director at Zoona. She has a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry.
How Common is Employee Theft
Employee theft is actually very common and it is a very big issue in most businesses today but we don’t get to hear about it a lot because it destroys the reputation of a business.
Potential Warning Signs
It is a bit of a challenge to clearly identify when employee theft is going to happen, but it is possible to protect your business before such an event occurs in your business. Before you employ someone you need to ensure that you go through all the necessary employee checks, these include things like knowing where they stay.
Do they have a criminal offense, or are able to produce a guarantor to represent them. In the event that they can’t produce one then you clearly have a sign that they will be problems should you employ that particular individual.
There will also be a need for policies to be put in place which even you as the business owner follow, this helps conveys the message that if anyone is found in the wrong, they will be put to book and will face the consequences.
Discouraging Employee Theft as a Small Business
As a small business one will have to create an environment that is conducive, this should be a great and fun environment that will help employees avoid resorting to theft. As an employer, you cannot be everywhere at once but you can create processes that allow your employees to come to you when they have challenges.
This helps in the sense that if an employee is facing let’s say a financial challenge, they can easily approach you to ask for assistance rather than dip into your finances with you not knowing.
You will need to create relationships with your employees, you may not know everything in the business but having a close relationship with your employees may help people to come forward when something is wrong in the business.
- Role Separation
Avoid having one person handling all the activities of a business. For instance, if you have someone selling in a shop avoid them being the one to reconcile at the end of the day, have someone else come in to reconcile your finances or do it together.
- Spot Checks
Randomly show up an announced to check if things are running smoothly in the business, always make time for these spot checks as part of your process.
- Customer Interactions
Get insights from your customers on their experiences. Find out how their customer experience is and avail them an avenue to air out challenges that they may have as your employees may seek to cover up on certain aspects.
- Be Alert for Employees that are Stressed
It is from the aspect of building relationships that this comes in, be invested in your employees, and if you notice that they seem to be going through a tough time find out what it is and how you can help them.
It is important to always incentives as a business, once your employees feel that they are valued and supported only then will they put in their best and give you a return on investment.
Actions to Take When dealing with a Theft
Every time a theft occurs in a business, it creates a lot of issues for the whole business actually because once an employee steals it ultimately affects the trust with the other employees too. If one is caught you will first have to deal with it in-house.
Ensure that the person is spoken to and understands the policies and the guidelines concerning theft and what the next step is and if necessary you will need to alert the law.
It is important to ensure that you are not weak when such an event occurs, ensure that the way that issue is handled in a manner that shows that employees cannot get away with theft.
- Always make sure that you know your employees.
- Spend a lot of time in your business don’t lose touch with it.
- Never stop learning, you can’t be a master at business no matter how long you have been in business.
“You can’t have the person handling your business transactions being the same one reconciling at the close of the day.”