Why Do Employees Steal?
My life experience includes thousands of pre-employment security interviews and countless interviews with employees suspected of dishonesty. Here some thoughts on “Why employees steal!”
There are only three ways to become a thief. They are either: Born, Created or Allowed
It really is that simple. Think about it, some people are born that way. There is nothing we can do to change that. They are the minority. We can try to keep them out of our business, but if they get in they will steal!
There is considerable research and evidence that almost 80% of all employees steal from their employer. On the job, thieves are either created or allowed! That’s right, as employers and supervisors we play a major roll in determining if someone will steal from us.
What makes an otherwise loyal and honest individual feel the need to steal when placed in a work environment?
Some employees steal because they are dissatisfied with their job or their boss. They “rationalize” their theft because they believe they deserve more pay, more time off, better treatment – whatever. Stealing is a way to get even.
Some thieves start off believing they’re only ‘borrowing’ money or merchandise and really intend to pay it back just as soon as they get caught up on their bills or get that bonus or raise etc. But no one ever says anything, the fear of discovery remains minimal and the “borrowed” amount becomes so large it becomes impossible.
About 6 years ago a forensic study by four very talented men published the 3rd Edition of FRAUD AUDITIING AND FORENSIC ACCOUNTING (Wiley, Sept. 2006) with 25 of the most often sited reasons for employee theft. Twelve (shown below) of those 25 reasons support my view that we create or allow theft in the work place.
Prevention is always your best protection!
Employers can not always prevent all theft. However, research and experience demonstrates that you can minimize theft.
Don't bury your head in the sand.
If you think something isn’t right, there’s no proof, but you get the feeling that something’s wrong, trust your gut.
Employee theft can be a difficult crime to prove and more often difficult to accept. A dishonest employee is like a magician, distracting your attention while he performs his “trick”.
When you investigate, consider everyone suspect, especially long term members of your company who, in your mind “would never”. In my experience I have learned to look very closely at the most trusted employee, son, daughter, or spouse!
Almost one-third of all business bankruptcies are the result of employee theft.
Call a professional retail loss specialist.
Contact us @ 866-396-2351