Theft at work can be a pressing problem. The first step is to recognize that this could be a major problem. Investing time and effort in this is critical and a willingness to practice safety as an organizational habit is important for all businesses.

Theft in the workplace poses a threat bigger than many small business owners think. The research conducted by Data Label reveals that 20 percent of respondents admitted that they have stolen something from their workplace; a disturbing trend, indeed. You can learn more about the results here.

Theft at workplace

You need to implement simple ways to prevent it. In order to achieve this you have to work towards creating a safer workplace by devising a security program that covers the following:

1. Personal safety

While most people might put surveillance on top of the list of creating a safer workplace, training and orientation towards personal safety really is the way to go first. Teaching employees about how to keep their belongings and themselves safe is an important factor. In fact devising a security program to teach employees things like:

  • Keep your wallet, keys and valuables with you at all times. This means keep them on your person or in your drawer under lock and key.
  • Report broken locks, windows and doors immediately. Don’t think its someone else’s job and wait for them to do it. Your own safety might be compromised.

2. Moving About

Do not allow strangers in to the office. Check identity and provide an escort. Simple things like not using the stairs alone and not getting in to an elevator with strangers or rather people who don’t give you good vibes will go a long way.

Do not work late alone and try not to get in to parking lots alone and late. Such habits are good and will not put you in a situation where you could be robbed when alone.

3. Intellectual Property and Identity Theft

Identity theft
photo credit: Jonathan / Flickr

Having security codes for valuables like laptops and shredding papers and documents that contain confidential information will prevent intellectual property and identity theft. Do not disclose your passwords to anyone. Do not befriend strangers on social networking sites. Refrain from publicly sharing details of your personal life online.

4. Access Control

Be selective about who gets access to your workplace. Visitors must be given access through one entrance only. Frisking and checking of belongings must be carried out at the point of entry. Temporary badges may be provided to visitors in order to identify them with ease.

Installing an Electronic physical security (EPS) system is a good solution to safeguard business assets and personnel. The idea is to prevent unauthorized entrants from entering a workplace. EPS systems usually include Burglar alarms and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and a card, a reader, and an electronic locking device for control purposes.

5. Surveillance

Some municipal law-enforcement agencies require businesses to install and maintain video-surveillance systems. Video surveillance has a psychological impact. Office watch groups and visible cameras can be effective in preventing thefts. Recordings help in case of a crime.

Such training can be given in person or via recorded forms like audio and video. Supplementing it with a brochure or pamphlet summarizing contests of the training will prove to be a useful reminder for all employees.