How to Deal with a Case of Employee Theft

Written by Chloe Harwood

Employee theft is relatively rare, but it does happen from time to time. If you suspect an employee of stealing from the company, here’s how you should deal with it.

Evaluate the Situation

The moment when you first discover that someone has been stealing money from your business can be very stressful. You will feel betrayed, and it’s hard to know what to do first. But you should start out by evaluating the situation and getting the initial facts straight. You need to know as much as you can before you can go any further. You need to be sure that the money or items actually were stolen and not simply misplaced, for example. You’d be surprised at how many employers make simple mistakes and then accuse people of doing terrible things. If you do this, you will damage the relationship with your employees.

Talk to Everyone

Once you have a handle on the situation, you should start to talk to everyone and get as much information as possible. You don’t want to take an accusatory tone when you are questioning people though. At this stage, it’s much better to remain neutral and give everyone a chance to speak honestly about the issue. If you ask questions, you might get answers that help you identify the person who is responsible. Whereas, if you simply start pointing fingers at people, you will just make the whole problem even worse. When you have done this, you might want to carry out a deeper investigation to find out more and resolve the issue.

Carry Out a Thorough Investigation

Now that you have conducted some questioning, you might want to ramp up the investigation a little. Basic questioning might not have revealed exactly what happened. But if you carry out a full and thorough investigation, you might be able to find out more of the information that you want to know. Carrying out a workplace investigation can be tricky, and there are things that you have to be careful of. To make sure that you don’t break any of the important employment laws, you should hire an investigation company. They’ll do it properly and use their skills to get to the bottom of the issue.

Discipline the Guilty Person

Obviously, an employee stealing from your business is a very serious concern. If a large amount of money was stolen and you know who stole it, you might want to get the police involved. This would then mean putting criminal proceedings into motion. This might be necessary if the issue is of a large enough severity. But you could keep the police out of it if the case is relatively minor. You will want to dole out some form of discipline though, and this is something that is totally up to you. Many people can’t forgive this sort of crime, and, therefore, the only option is to fire the person who is responsible for what happened. Alternatively, they could be suspended, fined and then given another chance.

About the author

Chloe Harwood