Employee theft is a risk every business faces. As many as 95% of businesses have experienced it. Three out of four employees have admitted pilfering from their workplace at least once. That’s how common the crime is, which may not be so obvious if your business has always been secure.
But no matter how trustworthy your employees are, you shouldn’t let your guard down. While mutual trust between employers and employees is essential, limitations or boundaries should be observed. You can trust a particular employee to man your shop alone, for example, but not without conducting security checks after their shift. Your employee might not be thrilled at being monitored like this, but ultimately, it’s for their benefit as well. The cleaner their records are, the brighter their opportunities will be, as far as their career is concerned.
As for your business, security measures will help you save costs. Here’s how:
Security Policies Can Save Millions of Dollars
If you think simple acts like taking home an office pen or printing personal documents have no impact, you’re mistaken. Acts like those are considered petty theft. Employees don’t have to steal cash outright for your business to suffer losses.
According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, retailers with 500 locations at most lost an average of $1,377 per dishonest employee in 2018. The amount was slightly larger for retailers with more locations. So if your small business has at least two dishonest employees, your losses will accumulate, until it reaches a million without your even realizing it.
Even if you don’t lose millions of dollars because your business is small, your total losses shouldn’t be ignored. That money could’ve gone to investments, or to the human resource budget. Sadly, it won’t be easy to spot losses from petty theft. But implementing some policies will help you prevent it.
Issue a memorandum prohibiting employees from taking their office supplies home. State-specific acts or examples of petty theft that won’t be tolerated. You may not have time to check each employee’s bags before they leave, but at least, they know what is expected of them. Set consequences for those who would disobey. Implement a confidential reporting procedure for anyone who’d like to report petty theft. Make a plan on how you’d investigate the incident as well.
Security Systems Help Reduce Insurance Policies
Insurance premiums are one of the biggest cost drivers in businesses. But if you minimize your business risks, your insurer may cut down your costs.
Implementing safety and security measures is one way to minimize risks. These measures reduce the hazards and threats in your workplace, guaranteeing fewer losses. As a result, your premiums will also decrease. But your insurer has to be in the loop about your safety and security plans as well. In fact, it would be wiser to get their help, because it’s their specialty to evaluate business risks.
Your insurer will likely recommend a burglar alarm installation for your business. This security system works in safety emergencies as well. But more importantly, it has a silent alarm feature, allowing you to alert the police discreetly if a burglar or robber breaks into your premises. This genius feature can minimize the likelihood of injury among your employees during an altercation or any similar scenario.
Don’t forget about cybercrime prevention as well. By addressing the cybersecurity threats in your business, your losses will tamper down, too. Invest in robust cybersecurity systems and train your employees on keeping their data private and secure.
However, insider data theft is another risk you have to face. If you make your data accessible to all employees, you increase your risks for this crime. And you’re not alone. As of 2019, about 50% of companies had over 1,000 sensitive files, with 22% of them accessible to every employee.
This is like an open invitation to employees who aren’t privy to confidential data. So, organize your data well, separating them by categories so that you can assign who can have access to which. For example, all HR data, such as resumes and payroll documents, should be accessible to the HR department only.
Marketing plans, on the other hand, should be available for the marketing team alone. Only you, the business owner, should have access to all data, but your cloud or any other kind of file storage should be secure with complicated passwords and other security measures as well.
Securing your business really does take considerable effort, not to mention consistency. It’s not a one-time procedure that’ll gradually stop taking effect as time passes. Instead, you have to continuously conduct it, and improve it at any chance you get. You have to be meticulous because when you’re dealing with your business’ assets, nothing is ever too small.