K. C. Bettencourt’s classic book, Theft and Drugs in the Workplace is a great read on the sociology of humans and their actions within a retail environment.
According to K.C. Bettencourt, an undercover investigator, one in three employees steal and it’s rising 5% a year.Bettencourt’s studies also showed that 20-25% of the work force will cheat when the stakes are high and supervision is low either by stealing merchandise, supplies or time. Furthermore, about 10% will cheat no matter what.
Many employees believe that stealing from their company isn’t really stealing. Their philosophy is that ‘everyone does it & no one cares if you take a few things’.
Many employees steal because of poor communication with the company, bad feelings about the company & dissatisfaction with their job.
Employees who are otherwise honest people may steal money or merchandise from the company & yet not define their behaviour as theft.
Give employees the message that what hurts the company hurts everybody in the company. Establish rules for acceptable employee behavior & then provide continuous training to ensure awareness & understanding.
A highly recommended read. Over the next few weeks, we will focus on the key ingredients and drivers behind staff theft.