One of the most common causes of inventory loss in warehouses is employee theft. Unfortunately, businesses with warehouses full of stocks and inventories are often a target of inside jobs. For places such as warehouses, you would think that outsiders who don’t have anything to do with the company are the culprit, but in reality, it’s not just those outsiders because it’s the employees themselves who devise a plan to steal.
So is there such a perfect solution to solve warehouse employee theft? Well, all we can say is that there is no one perfect solution that will entirely solve this problem. However, the good news is that you can put together preventive measures to enhance the security system of the place, helping to reduce the possibility of warehouse theft.
1. Maintain an Organized Warehouse
A messy and disorganized warehouse is not only stressful to look at, but it can also be an easy target for employee theft. More often than not, if a warehouse is disorganized, employees who have the intention of stealing will be more tempted to do it since no one will really notice if anything goes missing. That’s why it’s important to maintain an organized warehouse because it will be easier for you to spot missing inventory.
2. Do Backgrounds Checks on All Newly-Hired Employees and Staff
Conducting background checks on every employee or staff that you will hire in your business is a definite must. And by background check, we mean you have to do it properly because when this process is done right, it can actually help ensure the quality and consistency of the hiring process — hence, providing safety to your business since you will be hiring employees that can be trusted and don’t have criminal records. To further your background check, you can also check with their previous employers.
Bottomline: you have to be keen in screening all your employees, and most importantly, trust your gut. If you feel like this person cannot be trusted or you’re not entirely sure if they can be trusted, don’t settle for hiring them just because you lack manpower. Remember that hiring someone who’s bound to take something from your business can create more damage or loss rather than waiting for a bit to hire the right person for the job.
3. Make Sure Your Employees Understand the Gravity of Theft in Your Business
Whether you like it or not, some employees don’t really value establishing a peaceful relationship with their employers, which is why trust and integrity can be a bit of an issue with them. So if you’re a bit lenient or you don’t properly educate them of the repercussions of their dishonesty at work, they’ll take you for granted. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being lenient, but you also have to recognize that discipline should be properly implemented in the workplace.
Make sure your employees understand that you have a zero-tolerance policy at work and that they understand the gravity of theft in your business. This is not to scare them, but this is to help them understand that you do not tolerate stealing or any form of undesirable behavior from employees, and doing so will result in punishment for violating company rules. Implementing this policy can help reduce theft and encourage honesty and integrity in the workplace.
4. Monitor Your Staff
There are two ways you can monitor your staff: through CCTV systems and right on the warehouse floor. Installing CCTV systems all throughout the vicinity of the warehouse, especially high-risk theft areas, can be very useful in helping you remotely monitor your staff since you won’t always be able to monitor them on-site. But in cases where you won’t be able to monitor them via CCTV, it’s best to do a randomly scheduled monitoring of the warehouse floor.
Making unannounced and randomly scheduled monitoring will take potential employee thieves by surprise. This way, they won’t be able to tell when you’re coming to monitor or inspect them on the warehouse floor. But alongside this, you also have to make sure that they know you’re watching them and you do not tolerate undesirable behavior that may lead to an opportunistic crime, so that they will not take stealing or any crime in your business lightly.
5. Implement Rotating Staff Shifts
An inside job in the workplace can’t entirely go unnoticed, and there’s still a chance that someone can discover this wrongdoing. However, it’s also not easy to uncover it, particularly if alliances were formed between one employee thief to another on the same shift schedule. Chances are, they could be helping one another to get away with the crime even before anyone notices. Implementing staff shifts can help avoid and reduce the chances of these kinds of theft alliances being formed, keeping them from carrying out their plans.
6. Establish a Strong Security System in the Warehouse
CCTV cameras are known to be effective in deterring criminals because they’re afraid of any evidence that would point to them. One of the ways you can prevent warehouse theft is to establish a strong security system, and this includes strategically installing CCTV cameras and security mirrors in high-risk areas. Doing this helps create more visibility and less blind spots.
In addition to that, hiring security guards from reputable security companies/agencies will be helpful in creating a safe environment for everyone in the warehouse. These security guards can do bag inspections to all employees upon entry and even when they leave the warehouse. They can also do rounds after work hours to ensure the safety of the place and check if there is any suspicious activity.
We hope that the tips we have listed above will be useful in helping you prevent employee theft in your warehouse.
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