With more than $40 billion annually caused in damages due to employee theft, the issue of office theft is a real problem for most Human Resources departments. When employees feel the atmosphere within the company makes it okay to take home pen, paper, printer ink, or other supplies, this means there is an issue that must be addressed. The HR department needs to enact a strict anti-theft policy.
Theft of Office Supplies
The average cost of a basic brand of copy paper is about $3.00 dollars a ream and if just one employee taken one ream a week, that will cost the company about $152 .00 dollars annually. Now, this is just one ream of paper and one employee; imaging the cost of other supplies and several employees taking things. This can get out of hand rather quickly if not addresses as soon as possible.
Theft of Time
Another very costly form of employee office theft is time theft. This is when an employee says they are working on assigned tasks and are actually doing personal activities or chatting with other employees. Another form of time theft is when the employee is on the clock, but using company time to make and receive personal calls or emails. This may seem harmless, but once the HR department does the numbers, they will see the real cost. For instance, one employee who continually does non-company activities for an hour a day and who is paid an hourly wage of $10.00 dollars and hour will cost the company at least $2,600.00 dollars each year.
The HR manager must nip theft in the bud, as many businesses fail due to employee theft. In fact, it is estimated that nearly twenty percent site theft as the cause. Implementing zero tolerance and possibly prosecution for all theft within the company is a great place to start. Most employees who know they could be fired and/or go to jail for stealing will not risk it.