Okay so we have shared advice on cutting employee theft before, many times in fact. The things is – employee theft continues in small business retail, too often. It can be reduced in any retail business if you follow this simple advice:
- Use stock control. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what you software says. Every month do a stock take. Popular item stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft.
- Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand.
- Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift.
- Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises.
- Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
- Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale.
- Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
- Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
- Keep the counter clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft as it makes detection easier.
- Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
- Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
- Beware of calculators with memories at the counter.
- Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
- Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
- Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check.
- Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.