Thieves aren’t born, they’re taught. They’re informed by their surroundings and influenced by their peers. In short, malicious behavior end employee theft are a creation of one’s environment.
Employee theft is one of the biggest and most enduring challenges facing fast casual restaurants, convenience store, and retail business owners and operators. It’s become so pervasive across industries that most owner/operators now just consider it part of “the cost of doing business.”
But that cost is exorbitant, as the U.S. retail industry lost nearly $48.9 billion in 2016 due to theft, with 30% attributed to employee theft. Worse, those figures are expected to keep climbing not because business owners have given up on trying to prevent it, but because of the power of human nature.
Studies suggest that when it comes to stealing or otherwise cheating an employer, as much as 60% of employees can an be influenced by the environment around them. For business owners, that means that just a small number of disruptive employees can have a tremendous negative impact on a business by infecting the entire organization with malicious intent.
Theft isn’t an isolated event
Employee theft and fraud isn’t just a thing that “happens,” it’s a direct result of a business’s culture. To combat increased loss risk, business owners and operators can use video surveillance and analytics tools to change the narrative and create a culture of accountability and good behavior.
The clearest path toward this goal is to use video tools to weed out the mischievous employees before they do any real damage, identifying instances of theft or fraud and terminating (or prosecuting, if appropriate) the offending employee. But long-term loss prevention goes well beyond just reacting to loss incidents, it needs to be a proactive approach to creating an environment that encourages employees to take responsibility and makes them feel that their integrity and responsible behavior are appreciated.
Drive cultural change with SmartAudits™ and POS data to reward outstanding performance
Video can get a bad rap, generally because employees think it’ll only be used as a “Big Brother” tool to point out what they’re doing wrong. But when used in conjunction with point-of-sale (POS) and exception reporting systems, video is an ideal solution for highlighting what employees are doing right, creating a reward system for top performers, and even monitoring performance over multiple stores to create a consistent, cohesive, and welcoming work environment across the organization.
Specifically, these tools give enterprising store leaders the information and examples they need to get creative with the way they promote their cultural shift, driving continuous change and buy-in from team members across the company. For example, using SmartAudits™ and POS data, they might:
- Print and post in public areas (and on a company intranet) POS reports showing individual employees or a store shattering a daily, weekly, or monthly sales goal
- Track and reward with cash prizes, merchandise, and public recognition employees or stores that achieve zero voided sales or the highest number of successful upsells in a given time period
- Highlight and share with the entire company high-def videos of exceptional customer service and interactions, using the video to publicly acknowledge the employee and use it as a teachable moment for other staff members
- Post customer reviews on the website or social media feeds that recognize individual employees or store managers who went above and beyond to deliver outstanding customer service
360iQ Dashboard is an integrated platform that combines video, audio, and POS data to give business owners, operators, and managers complete visibility across every aspect of their business, using actionable data to easily pinpoint areas that need improvement and discover what’s working, without having to sort through hours of video footage.
With point tools like DTiQ SmartAudit™, store operators can review transactions and compare them with video and audio of customer interactions, cash handling activities, and other store operations to identify areas of potential risk and use them as coaching opportunities when appropriate, rather than defaulting to disciplinary actions.
Managers can review footage directly and privately with employees side-by-side or through online collaboration tools to review policies and best practices, while emphasizing the good aspects of the employee’s performance. Investing the time and personal attention toward individual employees away from the prying eyes of their coworkers can have a significant impact on how positively they view their job and the company as a whole.
Be everywhere without being there
Store managers can also benefit from additional visibility and transparency to establish a reward system that promotes teamwork, accountability, and greater productivity. Live and recorded video combined with high-fidelity audio helps store leaders highlight specific positive examples of good behavior and reward it through public and peer recognition, promotions, or other incentive that reinforces the good behavior and leads to higher employee and customer satisfaction.
At the same time, many business owners find it’s difficult to be everywhere at once when a business has multiple locations. Integrated video solutions are ideally suited to establishing baseline performance expectations or goals for the organization, give live look-ins to monitor how both managers and store employees are measuring up to those expectations, and make it easier to communicate the results.
For most restaurants, retail and convenience stores, employee theft can be a big problem that quickly eats into profits and reduces employee morale. Comprehensive video solutions are indispensable components to an effective loss prevention strategy based on transforming company culture.