In a perfect world, work would be a safe place. However, this isn’t always the case. For many people, crime at work is an all too common occurrence, and if the proper precautions aren’t taken, it’s a problem that only worsens over time.
If you or one of your coworkers has recently fallen victim to workplace crime, it may be time to boost security measures at work, and here’s how:
1. Provide Ample Lighting
Environmental factors such as lighting play a big role in preventing theft. Although it sounds a bit cliché, crime is more likely to occur in low visibility areas. If there are “blind spots” in your workplace that seem a little sketchy, casting some light on them is highly recommended.
Low-visibility areas are often caused by shoddy lighting, poor office layout and even a lack of security camera surveillance. If you’ve noticed things go missing in a certain part of the office, adding some additional security measures can very quickly put a stop to it.
Installing extra lights, security cams and adopting more of an open office layout can help you not only keep a better eye on people, but also discourage them from stealing in the first place. If thieves notice that you’re taking extra precautions and are mindful of your surroundings, they’re much less likely to try and rip you off.
2. Educate Your Staff
Although most people have heard the spiel about why workplace security is important, it never hurts to reiterate. However, rather than recycling an old training video, or presenting the same redundant important over and over again, adapt the scenario in a way that’s pertinent to where you work.
It’s never fun to sit through a work meeting, especially a mandatory one about why people shouldn’t steal from the office. But, if you’re due for one, don’t use broad strokes and relative terms. Instead, create scenarios that people can imagine themselves in, and describe exactly what happens if they’re caught stealing.
Before they commit a crime, many people are unaware of the exact ramifications. They know they’ll get in trouble, but more often than not, they’re not keen to the severity of the punishment. Make this information well known to your employees; provide a familiar situation and let them know exactly what would happen if they were caught.
3. Lock Everything Up
One of the best ways to prevent workplace crime is by providing secure areas for you and your employees to keep personal belongings, work specific tools and anything else that’s needed on a daily basis at work.
Theft happens most often when people leave their stuff out in the open. You can combat this by buying and installing storage lockers, lockable drawers and by encouraging your staff to keep valuable possessions either locked up or safe at home.
If your workforce keeps their area secure, and takes responsibility of their actions and possessions, you can quell theft and begin creating a much safer work environment overall.
4. Create a Trusting Environment
Creating a trusting environment at work can be done in many ways; however, it’s not an exact science. A great way to start though is by conducting a thorough background check and hiring the right people.
During the selection process it’s important to really put forth an effort in getting to know all potential hires. If you’ve never met them before, cross-reference their past, their references and your overall impression of them during the interview. This will give you a better understanding of what kind of person they are.
Don’t, under any circumstances though, discriminate unjustly. If they have a colorful past, be wary, but don’t be unfair. Remember that even people with a record can be great employees; they just might need some of your professional guidance before they can blossom into the hire that you want them to be.
As a business owner, it’s up to you to lead an example and inspire your staff to treat the workplace with respect. If you exercise strong leadership, and instill positive qualities in your workforce, they will be more likely to follow the rules and stay out of trouble.
Chris Anderson has worked in a variety of industries from sales to education. He currently works with School Lockers.