Keeping Honest People Honest
One of the interesting aspects of employing a video system for Loss Prevention is the deterrence factor. Regarding employee theft, communicating effectively your policies and technologies used to reduce shrinkage with employees, helps keep honest people honest.
Consider employees falling along a spectrum: at one end of the spectrum there are those who will steal regardless; on the other end of the spectrum there are those who are an epitome of everything that is good in the world and would never dream of an unethical act; but in the middle where most of us reside, people tend towards the precedent and may even begin to feel an entitlement.
“Tommy gave his brother an employee discount. The boss doesn’t seem to care. I’m going to give my sister a discount.”
We have a way of rationalizing petty dishonesty, especially when the lines between right and wrong are blurry.
The very first thing to do when you up the ante with any incremental form of security or loss prevention measure is to tell your employees. Don’t come across as, “I’m out to get you…” but rather, “I am trying to run a business well and successful businesses use technologies to deter theft and fraud.”
For video and exception reporting specifically, as part of policy and employee training, let your employees know that certain transactions and their corresponding video are reviewed.
If policies and expectations are clear, you will help keep honest people honest by making the lines between right and wrong easier to see. There’s a lot to be gained from deterrence alone.
- Develop a Loss Prevention policy and include it in your employee handbook; use clear language to communicate expectations and consequences for violations
- Post policy reminders in visible locations – e.g. backdoor policy reminders on the backdoor, cash handling reminders in the counting area, etc
- Have formal discussions when training new hires
- Have an ongoing, open dialog with employees
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