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Rabu, 11 Agustus 2010

Office tips: how to prevent employee theft

Employee theft can be a problem in a small business or a major corporation. It’s a subject we’re uncomfortable to discuss because we don’t want to think of our fellow co-workers as thieves—and most aren’t. Only a small percentage of our workforce believes it’s ok to take what doesn’t belong to them. But it’s the presence of these unscrupulous individuals that force companies and employees to use various means to protect their property in the workplace.

Personal Security Measures

Employees must take responsibility for protecting their personal property. Here are some suggestions:

* Keep your purse or wallet with you at all times, if possible. Otherwise, lock them up at your desk. And make sure you have the only key.

* Secure all personal items when you leave your area. If you have an office, lock your door when you step away.

* Unattended coats and jackets are fair game for dishonest co-workers. Before placing outerwear in closets, or on coat racks, remove cash and other valuables from the pockets.

Departmental Security Measures

Many departments are located in areas with little security. This is ideal for thieves. Here’s how to stop them:

* Challenge strangers loitering in your area and ask to see identification. If they refuse, call security.

* Make sure there’s staff around to challenge strangers wandering into your area, especially during meetings and lunchtime.

* Some departments allow employees to have direct access to office supplies. This may be convenient, but certain workers will take advantage and steal supplies to use at home. Therefore, choose only a few individuals to be responsible for distributing office supplies to their co-workers, and have them maintain accurate inventory records.

Organizational Security Measures

Companies should have certain measures in place to combat employee theft. Here are some effective ones:

* Document the company’s policy on security and communicate it to all employees. As a deterrent, each worker should know the penalties involved with committing employee theft.

* Issue identification badges to all employees, contractors, and visitors, and require everyone to wear their ID while in the workplace.

* Conduct extensive screening and background checks on all employees and contractors.

* Install security cameras throughout the workplace.

* Create a security awareness program that teaches workers how to prevent employee theft.

* Appoint employees as security managers for each department. Managers should hold periodic meetings to update employees on changing policies.

* Allow only authorized individuals to access rooms where computers and other expensive equipment are stored. Rooms should remain locked when no one’s inside, and the names of all employees, and their times of entry and exit, should be written in a log book.

* Record serial numbers for all expensive equipment issued to employees.

* Make sure terminated and retired employees surrender any equipment issued to them, and have them turn over their ID to security.

Stealing in the workplace will never be eliminated, but it can be greatly diminished if companies are proactive and tackle the problem. Organizations must involve their staff by developing clear and effective measures and policies regarding the prevention of employee theft.

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