Thinking about employee theft, convenience store managers tend to fall into one of two categories: those who think that no one is stealing from them and those who think that everyone is stealing from them. To minimize losses caused by theft in your store, you need to fall somewhere in the middle. It may feel like a fine line to walk, but your goal should be vigilance without paranoia.
The first step to minimize losses caused by internal theft is to admit you have a problem. The unfortunate reality is that about 75 percent of employees will steal from their employer in one way or another. A report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that businesses lose about $50 billion per year due to employee dishonesty or theft. In the retail sector, according to a recent National Retail Security Survey, about 30 percent of inventory shrinkage is the result of employee theft.
There’s no escaping the fact that theft is a hidden risk to your store’s profitability. To stop it, you must be proactive. The next step in minimizing losses is an ongoing one. You must constantly be on the lookout for the signs of early losses caused by internal theft, and make sure all your convenience store managers are trained to do the same. Here are some red flags to watch for:
- Rise in No Sale entries.
- Drop in overall sales without special circumstances.
- Rise in inventory.
- Cash discrepancy.
- Loitering that may be a sign of improper discounting or “sweethearting.”
The final step to minimize losses related to employee theft is to make sure your employees know what constitutes theft and what the consequences are if they steal from you. The concept of theft may seem crystal clear to you, but it can sometimes be fuzzy for employees. The information you present through your employee training program and through your own actions should leave no room for interpretation of your store’s policies prohibiting theft of any kind.
Minimize Losses at Your Convenience Store with Employee and Manager Training
Online training delivers a consistent message to employees and managers about how to minimize losses. Training programs from Ready Training Online include Loss Prevention for employees and Loss Prevention Specialist and Identifying Early Losses for managers. Review our complete online learning library here.