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Sep 17

Why My Employees Won’t Steal From Me – 5 Myths

Posted by: Libby | Comment (0)

The statistics are staggering.  The latest National Retail Security Survey states that 45% of losses to retailers are attributed to theft by employees.  The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) reports that 5% of revenues of a typical organization are stolen by company workers.  The average internal fraud scheme goes undetected for 18 months.  Small businesses are particularly vulnerable since they don’t have the resources or the processes in place to avoid and/or detect fraud activity.  With no formal loss prevention programs in place, many owners and managers rely on their experience and expertise to react to incidences of employees stealing.   Others rely on their beliefs, perceptions and ideals that their employees would not steal from them for a number of reasons. The following are myths associated with those ideological thoughts:

My employees would not steal from me because …

1. They Like Me – While it is true that good relationships with the boss may deter a small percentage of employees from stealing, research has shown that dishonest employees are driven by a number of factors.  Loss Prevention professionals cite the presence of the Theft Triangle as the breeding ground for employee theft. When these elements are present in the workplace, employees may be tempted to steal or become involved in other counterproductive behaviors.

Theft Triangle
a)    Motive - Potential gain and use for the cash or product
b)    Opportunity – Ability to quickly and safely steal the cash or product
c)    Low Risk of Detection – Perception of low probability of getting caught

The employees may genuinely like the manager or owner, but if the three factors are present in the work environment, the temptation to steal may override friendship.

2.  They’re My Best Employees – Many managers and employers perceive that because certain employees are self-motivated, hard workers, they do not have any integrity issues.  They are above reproach simply because they exceed expectations in their performance.  And because of that belief, those employees are not scrutinized for compliance to the rules, nor suspected of counterproductive behavior or theft.  Without accountability to the rules, even the best of employees may take advantage and steal.












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