Employee theft is a source of loss simply too costly to ignore, which is why loss prevention practitioners are always on the lookout for novel ways to prevent it. But what if the best theft-prevention tool wasn’t a security measure at all? What if you just paid your store associates Read More
Employee Theft in the retail industry, also commonly referred to as internal theft, occurs when an individual steals from the company where they are currently employed. While other types of retail theft often garner more attention, employee theft typically causes the most damage to retailers on an annual basis, carrying the greatest financial loss and a substantial impact on the business.
In most situations, retail customers only have access to merchandise on the selling floor—which is protected by the sales team, loss prevention personnel, and various anti-theft systems and controls. Employees, however, have greater access to more systems, more products and more areas of the store than customers. They have access to merchandise in the stockrooms, receiving, or shipping areas where CCTV surveillance, EAS tags and other anti-theft devices may be less effective.
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They may also have access to cash from customers, register drawers, or the cash office. Those with access to the POS register system may be provided with ample means for other theft and fraud issues. Employees know the store team members, learn their habits, follow their schedules, and can take additional measures to avoid detection. Simply stated, employees have a much greater opportunity to steal. As a result, employee theft can affect a business much more quickly and to a significantly greater extent than most external theft incidents.
Employee theft incidents can occur in a variety of different ways. Theft of merchandise, cash and cash equivalents, product consumption, theft of equipment and theft of services are some of the more common issues. Yet as varied as the types of theft may be, there are even more different methods of theft that can used by employees to steal from their companies; only limited by the creativity of the individual and the opportunities that are presented. There are also a variety of reasons that can lead employees to make the ill-advised decision to steal. Personal issues, financial problems, peer pressure, drug and related dependencies, and coercion are just a few.
Most employees are honest and hard-working people with honorable intentions. However, when employee theft issues occur, it can lead to significant concerns that can impact the store in many ways, reaching far beyond the financial losses caused to the company. It impacts retail sales. It impacts retail shrink. It impacts the company brand and reputation. It also impacts all of the hard working associates who give their best each and every day.
When trying to obtain the truth from a dishonest employee, a suspect involved in another type of criminal investigation, or even a member of your family, we typically see five types of lies. These lies include:
Lies of Denial. This type of lie will involve an untruthful person (or a Read More
New employee monitoring tools regularly emerge that allow retail organizations to keep a closer eye on employees. What is your sense of these products? Does technology-based employee monitoring reduce misconduct? Does it dampen or enhance worker productivity?
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examined these questions by analyzing two years’ Read More
This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Wayne Hoover, CFI discussing the SWOT analysis of the interview process. Read More
In this week’s WZ / IAI interview and interrogation training tip, Dave Thompson, CFI, talks about the issue of confirmation bias.
Often, as investigators, we think we’re doing the right thing in searching for the truth, but we sometimes fall victim to having confirmation bias. Sometimes, due to someone giving us Read More
As interviewers, we often share with colleagues how we fared with our various investigations and subsequent interviews. We spend a great deal of time discussing our favorite parts of the interview–the rationalization(s), handling the denial(s), and ultimately how and when we got the submission.
However, one aspect of the loss prevention Read More
We have all jotted down some notes regarding a conversation—something we wanted to remember or just a simple to-do list. Most of us have never had any training in taking notes, but instead just kind of developed our own style that sort of seemed to work. Universities recognized that students Read More
In this week’s WZ / IAI interview and interrogation training tip, Dave Thompson, CFI, talks about how to conduct an organized retail crime (ORC) interview.
Wicklander-Zulawski has had the opportunity recently to speak at several conferences where loss prevention, security, or law enforcement point to the challenges of their encounters with Read More
October 17, 2017 | David E. Zulawski, CFI, CFE, and Shane G. Sturman, CFI, CPP | Employee Theft
We have all dealt with and perhaps made threats and promises in our everyday lives. “You kids cut it out. Don’t make me stop this car!” “If you don’t finish what’s on your plates there will be no dessert.” “When you’ve cleaned your room we’ll go for ice cream.” “If Read More
In this week’s WZ / IAI interview and interrogation training tip, Dave Thompson, CFI, discusses the importance of being a good business partner.
Whether you’re in loss prevention, asset protection, human resources, audit compliance, or even law enforcement: when it comes to being a good business partner or good member of Read More