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Why Employees Steal (and How to Prevent It)

Employee theft is an unfortunate side effect of owning a business. Rates of theft are higher than one might think — statistics show that 75% of U.S. employees have stolen at least once from their employer. This type of theft ranges anywhere from stolen goods to embezzlement. Retailers suffer these consequences with an average $60 billion yearly loss due to employee theft, but every business faces the reality. 

Thankfully, there are proven steps that can be taken to thwart this type of crime and stop it before it begins.

The Psychology Behind Employee Theft

While faulty supervision and security are preventable causes of employee theft, psychology plays a role as well. Many employees weigh out their decision to steal based on their own financial instability or even dissatisfaction in the workplace. Because work is a “psychological contract” that can easily create feelings of distrust, employees sometimes feel compelled to compensate for the disengagement they feel.

A study in Psychology Today found that employees sometimes steal as a means of making up for low wages, or getting even with managers who treat them in cold and unfair ways. Team building can help foster a sense of trust and respect between employees and their bosses. But even within a positive environment, theft can still be an issue.

As Terry Shulman, author of “Biting the Hand that Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic” claims, most employees who steal are genuinely honest people in other facets of their lives. But the question stands: why do honest people slip into dishonesty in the workplace?

Security Prevents Crime

Although highly beneficial, improving workplace culture alone cannot combat theft completely. it’s crucial to understand that theft is not a result of hiring bad people — good people oftentimes make bad decisions. It’s a fact that employees tend to relax a bit too much when the boss isn’t around. But employees can be swayed to do the right thing if they know they’re in an environment that is actively in touch with what they do, even if they are unsupervised.

Realistically, company owners cannot be everywhere at once, and this is where UAS comes in. UAS security empowers company owners to keep their businesses and employees safe and productive by giving them the opportunity to monitor their business while they can’t physically be there. UAS offers a wide range of reliable products, from Access Control Monitoring to Audio and Video Monitoring, to address these needs and close the gap.

UAS’ invaluable security creates an unbiased environment that helps foster trust. It shows employees that their safety and support of company goals is important. UAS’ reliable and effective RAVENTM video system does its job of giving managers and company owners remote access (anywhere, on any device) to behaviors that must be observed, in real time or after the fact. Storage of crystal-clear video footage makes it easy to reference any necessary time or location in question.

The unbiased environment that UAS security fosters is a key component in easing tensions between employees. With an effective monitoring system, error is avoidable when it comes to blame, and employees can trust that they’ll never have to worry about unjust accusations. Good security brings employees who made wrong decisions to the forefront, captures suspicious behaviors day or night, and ensures all employees that their work is important and they will be kept safe and secure.

Ultimately, employees who feel their work and safety are valued, and that they are fairly treated are far less inclined to do harm. UAS security is the necessary partner that busy store owners and managers can trust. Company owners need to know their business is a safe and cared for place, where employees feel good about the work that they do. UAS security provides company owners with eyes on all the areas that matter most, and works around the clock to ensure peace of mind for everyone.