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Workplace Theft Statistics For 2012 And How To Prevent Them

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A report by the US Chamber of Commerce has revealed that three out of four employees will be stealing from their employees this year. One of these people is a habitual thief has been stealing regularly, or will be doing so. If this situation is allowed to prevail, then there is one in three chances that the business will fail and the owner will have to declare a bankruptcy.

Employee theft statistics for the current year show that companies in the United States will lose between a whopping $20 and $40 billion. This will include small-scale burglary, like shoplifting and large-scale fraud.

If the employer is prudent and fortunate to have effective safeguards in place, he may notice the disappearance of cash, office supplies or inventory items, and then stem the outflow. However, if the employer is like the vast majority of small business managers, with too much to do, then these thefts may go unnoticed and they could lose a considerable amount before realizing what their thieving employees were up to.

When we talk about theft, the first thing that comes to mind is money. However, workplace theft can be much more than simply things monetary. Employees guilty of falsifying information on time-sheets are guilty of stealing time, for which they are paid but did not work. Office stationery, displayed products, electrical fittings are all prone to be targeted by workplace thieves.

Trade secrets, internal documents and proprietary technology, are known to be pilfered for years, without anyone at the organization becoming aware of the seriousness of the problem. The report has an alarming statistic for all employers; it has revealed that 75 percent of employee crimes are never caught.

There are many reasons why employees resort to stealing. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the prime reasons are, ” financial need, revenge, dissatisfaction with a job or coworkers, allegiance to another company, thrill of potentially being caught, ego, desire to win approval, peer pressure, addictions and family problems.”

The research warns that employers must not assume that the senior workers are a lesser risk than the newly hired employees. All employees steal and it is something from which no industry is exempt.

Research done by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, reveals that, workers getting regular salaries and are on the payroll, are fifteen times more likely to steal from the company than contractors and other non-employees.

Employee theft is so widespread and pervasive in the US, that each American worker ends up paying $400 annually to offset the business losses.

Reports show that 80 percent of the employees will steal only if they are convinced that they will not be caught. 10 percent of the employees will never steal and 10 percent will never stop stealing.

A few bad apples contaminate the whole basket. The report advises employers to take the following measures to check this ever growing menace.

Ensure that you have a strong, clear, legally sound policy regarding company property. Ensure that every employee knows about it, failing which you are open to contest and being disputed by employees who are accused of theft

Make background checks of every employee mandatory, install security protocols, print operation manuals, train your workforce appropriately, penalize offending workers and you can avoid becoming part of next year’s employee theft figures.

Workplace Theft Statistics For 2012 And How To Prevent Them by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes