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Management Buzz 03/03 The long-term effects of employee theft; flexible "sick" days for your workers

By Chris Sandlund

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's aSteal!
Few things send a shiver through your company like theft. Themoment an employee's purse is stolen, the staff starts talkingand productivity slows. But you should worry less about theshort-term loss of work than the long-term impact if you fail toaddress the problem.

"You create an environment where employees feelviolated," says Carl Pergola, national director of fraudinvestigation services at BDO Seidman in New York City. "Theyoften resent the organization for not having dealt with theproblem."

That applies as much for loss of personal items as for theftfrom the company. A lockable filing cabinet is a simple solutionfor letting people secure personal items. More important, inculcatea culture that won't tolerate theft or fraud.

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