Employee Theft is a tough subject. As we find ourselves on (hopefully) the tail-end of the COVID-19 pandemic, its important to remember that even typically honest employees may steal under dire circumstances, such as a global pandemic. A study on Employee Theft, conducted by Forensic Pathways, found that 10% of employees will always steal, 10% will never steal, and the remaining 80% will steal under the right circumstances.
COVID-19 has created a sense of financial instability for just about everyone in the Unites States. Even for those who were not laid off, or furloughed, from their jobs may be directly connected to many who were. Two income households may have been reduced to one. Many people have taken in children, parents, or other family members who are struggling. Everyone is feeling the strain.
Headlines in 2020 have already highlighted that employee theft will be a huge concern for businesses that somehow manage to survive the pandemic. From a Mississippi welfare agency that embezzled millions, to a Louisiana charity that was taken for half a mil, to an Idaho hospital where an employee stole funds directly from a fundraiser. Theft is everywhere, and you need to be diligent.
While your numbers may not be on such a large scale, if each employee slips a $20 out of the register, per shift, how long will your business last? What about if your bartender is stealing pooled tips? A customer service rep altering numbers in their favor month after month? Even a cook taking food home to feed their kids after each shift? This is a make it or break it moment, and with less money in the bank due to COVID, you cannot afford to lose any more.
Even trusted employees will steal if:
—They are feeling financial pressure
—They can rationalize the act (feeling underpaid, underappreciated, etc.)
—They feel they can get away with it
The employees you are hiring and re-hiring are definitely feeling the pressure, rationalizing the act will be easy. You need your employees to know that they cannot get away with it and that is where Mercantile comes in. Instead of hoping your employees are following all of your cash handling policies, why not verify it?
By implementing cash handling and theft protection audits within your company, you can safeguard yourself against employee thefts. You will reduce the thought that employees can get away with it, making them less likely to commit and theft in the first place. You will also be able to catch anyone who does go through with any criminal activity and take appropriate measures before employee theft cripples your business.
Contact a Mercantile Systems Inc. (MSI) team member today to find out how we can help you protect yourself.