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What To Do When You Suspect An Employee Is Stealing From You

As an entrepreneur, you put a lot of faith in the people you hire. You chose them out of a long list of candidates because you believe they’re capable of helping you move your company in the right direction. So, if you suspect that they’re going behind your back and stealing from the business, then it cuts deep.

Regardless of whether you suspect them of stealing supplies, petty cash, or information; it needs to stop. What can you do in this situation? Well, here are some thoughts…

Install CCTV Cameras

The fact that things are being taken from your business suggests that you don’t already have CCTV to prevent it. So, make sure you get some CCTV systems installed around your office, which will basically serve as your eyes. You can see what goes on, which lets you pinpoint any suspicious behaviour and catch the crook. Also, if the stealing suddenly stops, then you know it was someone in your office. An outside thief won’t know that you’ve suddenly boosted your security, so you’d catch them trying to break back in, then running away as they catch sight of a camera. An employee knows the new cameras are in so they won’t risk it. So, at the very least, you can halt the stealing in its tracks.

Gather As Much Evidence As Possible

Gathering evidence can be easier than you think, mainly because you’re talking about an employee, not a master criminal. They’ll probably leave clues, and you can probably narrow it down to a few suspects. For example, if something from your office keeps going missing and only two other people have a key, then it’s most likely one of them – if not both. Think about when things went missing, who was working on those days and look at the behaviour of your employees. Make it quite apparent that you’re snooping around trying to figure out how something went missing. If they’re innocent, your employees won’t bat an eyelid. But, if someone starts getting very twitchy and looks nervous, then it’s obvious they were involved.

Don’t Bring Everyone In For Questioning

The worst thing you can do is halt operations and spend the day interviewing all your employees. From the moment you started your business, you should’ve made an effort to be productive. So, stopping the whole company from working, until you find out who the thief is, will not be a very productive thing to do. You could potentially lose out on some key sales, so it’s not worth the risk. Instead, gather your evidence, narrow down the options, then call in the most suspicious person/people. Tell them what you’ve found, ask them if it's true, then deal with the disciplinary actions.

When an employee steals from you, it's much more than a breach of trust. It means they’re harming the company – and if they’re taking information and giving it to your rivals, then they’re helping out your competitors. Everyone deserves a second chance in life, but their second chance can be at another company. When the trust is broken, it’s hard to keep someone on your books.

Follow these tips if you suspect one of your employees is stealing things from your company. Don’t react angrily, do what you can to figure out who’s at fault and then follow the correct legal proceedings.

About the author, Mark

Mark Asquith is a serial entrepreneur who has built globally successful design, marketing, software and digital businesses since he quit his real job in 2005.

A passionate podcaster, global keynote speaker and helpful bloke, Mark is the co-founder of Podcast Websites and the creator of Excellence Expected. He has a terribly embarrassing beard.

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