There's no sure-fire way to prevent employee theft. But Read Hayes, president of Winter Park, Florida-based Loss Prevention Specialists, offers these steps to safeguard your business:
1. Maintain a culture of honesty. "Define what's out of bounds and what's not," says Hayes.
2. Carefully screen employee applicants. "Past behavior is the most powerful [indicator] of future behavior," stresses Hayes.
3. Institute procedural controls that limit the opportunity for theft.
4. Make use of available surveillance technology.
5. Follow up on the safeguards you use. Hayes notes, "If nobody looks at [loss-prevention] reports, you're not going to have deterrence."