Shoplifting carried out by employees - internal theft - is a problem which retailers often overlook. But there are some simple ways to make sure it never happens.
Many countries are seeing a continual growth in internal theft. Experts point to several key contributing factors for this rise:
- Tough economic conditions leading to lay-offs, downsizing and outsourcing of labour
- The exchange of trained, loyal members of staff for new cheaper employees with no commitment to the company
- The cutting of benefits
- The reduction of maintenance expenses
Build Staff Loyalty
One way to reduce the rate of internal theft is to establish a working environment which creates a culture of loyalty and makes employees feel part of a team.
- Open communication and clear goals are often the key to creating ownership, as all employees feel they are working towards the same goal
- Working in a place where you are part of a community raises staff’s morale and is likely to prevent internal theft - it is better to reward than punish
Do Not Skimp on Maintenance
Reports by former thieving employees show that a lack of maintenance is a factor that favours internal theft.
For example, whereas the presence of a camera or product alarm system may be enough to deter a shoplifter, employees know when those systems are faulty and can exploit the lack of action taken to repair them.
Do not just consider a candidate’s professional capabilities when recruiting, but look at their past conduct.
And when you have recruited, make sure all employees have adequate training on both the security systems you have in place and how to actively prevent shoplifting.