Everyone in business knows about this secret. It is employee theft. According to a study conducted by Michael G. Kessler & Assoc. as high as 79% of employees consider stealing from their employer. I don’t need to explain the problem because if you have been in business for more than a couple of years, you probably have already seen it first hand.
A really easy target for the dishonest employee is equipment that has been assigned to them to perform their tasks. It might be a sin of omission, where they are moving on to another employer and just don’t return the equipment you have provided to them. This is a simple problem to prevent. Using equipment tracking solutions, you should be able to provide a list of equipment assigned to the employee at this time and it should be accurate.
Tagging equipment with a unique asset tag and ownership statement will alert the employee to the fact that you take your equipment tracking seriously. I have previous blog postings about best practices in equipment labeling as it is the single easiest and most effective deterrent available.
If you can produce a list of equipment assigned to the employee, complete with; manufacturer, model, serial number, date assigned and condition. You make it clear that are keeping track of your inventory and you expect the return of all items. It also sends a message to other employees that this type of theft will not be tolerated. In the study referenced above 66% of employees said they would only steal if they saw that others could steal and get away with it. Think about that. Just sending a clear message that theft will not be tolerated, will stop 66% of your employees from becoming potential thieves. That is a pretty compelling reason to implement some simple theft control practices.