This is the final post in a four-part series on employee theft.
If you suspect that theft or fraud has occurred in your business, then you should promptly follow up with a thorough investigation. When done properly, an investigation can help you limit your loses and quickly resolve the situation.
First you need to determine what is missing or which reports or systems seem inaccurate This will help you to get a handle on the extent of the loss. Take stock of your inventory and check your financial accounting system for any unusual entries or changes in cash flow.
Second, you should try to figure out approximately when the theft(s) occurred and by whom. Make a list of all employees who could have had access to the missing items or information. In some cases, if you have surveillance cameras, it may help to review the tape to get an idea of who was around when the theft occurred
Finally, your investigation should end with either an employee interview or survey. Basically, you are looking to gather information from two distinct groups of people: those who you suspect may have been involved in the theft or fraud and innocent co-workers who may have some knowledge or suspicions as to who committed the act.
The interview and/or survey should be confidential. Employees should be informed that no co-workers will know what was said about them and that there will be no repercussions for sharing information.
Some questions to consider asking:
2. How do you think the theft might have occurred?
3. Has any employee acted differently before or since this theft that makes you think he or she might be involved? Who? How did they act?
4. Are any employees reluctant to participate in this investigation or encouraging anyone else not to participate? Who?
5. Which employees do you think might have committed this theft? Why?
6. Which employees do you trust? Why?