Prevention of Employee Theft

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Prevention of Employee Theft

Why do employees feel free to steal? Most employee theft occurs because it is too easy. What can a company do to prevent employee theft? What should a company do to employee thieves? The following paragraphs summarize a few ideas.

Employee theft is a crime that is costing U.S. companies a great deal of money. Employee thefts are growing in number, partially because the perpetrators really do not see themselves as criminals and rationalize what they are doing in much the same way as taxpayers rationalize income tax fraud. Employee theft is one of many personnel problems that is easier to prevent than to solve. Prevention should begin before an applicant becomes an employee. Some theft prevention might include recruiting trustworthy employees which includes performing background checks to help screen applicants. However, a background check or criminal records check does have its limitations. For example, most people who steal from their employees are never caught.

When Acme Company was having a problem with employee theft, the firm found that the prevailing attitude was that corporate losses were normal and even acceptable. Management took a variety of steps to remedy the situation. First, a clearly stated policy was communicated that theft would be prosecuted. A more humanistic approach was developed for employee supervision, and supervisors were trained to be more sensitive to the needs of subordinates. In addition, an anonymous theft reporting hot line was set up outside the company, and rewards were provided when an investigation resulted in a conviction. The program was successful, illustrating that both traditional and innovative steps must be taken to reduce the i...

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...f escape with dismissal rather than criminal proceedings. Failure to prosecute employee theft only leads to its increase. Many companies probably think that prosecution will let other current and future employees think that stealing is easy in the company. Depending on the nature of the crime, I think companies need to prosecute employee thieves and/or dismiss the employee and make arrangements with the employee to pay back what was stolen.

Works Cited

Bassett, James W. "Nursing Homes: Taking A Hard Line Against Crime. " UMI (1996): 13-18

Janssen, Marvin J. "Security Management: The Case of the Missing Money." UMI 11161.00 (1995): 77-79

Price, William. "Security Management: Reeling In Dishonest Employees." UMI 11161.00 (1995): 48-52.

Sipes, Leonard Adam, Jr. "Security Management: Tradition Takes A Twist. " UMI 1116 1. 00 (1987): 41-44.

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