What are some of the main factors that promote a high level of employee crime & the main factors that influence employer response to it?

Expert Answers
marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Statistics have proven than employee crime is on the rise. There are several reasons for the increase and several things employers can do to discourage it.

Employee theft needs to be responded to and addressed for the following reasons: Loss of equipment and inventory, greater overhead costs that are passed on to the consumer, loss of company's reputation, loss of cash and other assets, and possible bankruptcy and criminal prosecution (extreme factors).  

The biggest reason employees steal from their employers is a certain sense of "he owes it to me," or "I've worked for it and deserve it," or "he'll never even miss it," or "I need it more than he does and besides, he can get another."  Many feel cheated, unappreciated, and unimportant so they get back at their employers by taking things, misreporting their time worked, falsifying information, and committing fraud. With some it begins accidentally at first, then they think it won't matter, and finally it's a compulsion with them.

Some things an employer can do to minimize or eliminate theft: 

Create an enjoyable working environment and amiable relationship with every single employee. An employee who is made to feel important, needed, and trusted is less likely to steal from his employer.

There needs to be a very strict policy about the consequences of stealing and that it won't be tolerated. Everyone should look out for the interests of the company and report any suspicious behavior to management so it can be investigated. If necessary, install locking systems, security cameras, password-enabled keypads, and security guards for areas of high-tech, expensive equipment. 

Keep the lines of communication open. If employees feel they can come to management, air their grievances, and receive just satisfaction they are less likely to vent their frustrations in unhealthy ways.

Seek to acknowledge, reward, and compensate each employee's efforts. They will be happier, perform better, and build up the company.

Human Resource departments can also help deter crime by upgrading their hiring methods. Better screening and more rigid criminal background checks can eliminate some shady characters.

In summary, 79% of all employees are guilty of theft, many factors lead employees to commit theft, and employers should recognize the reasons it occurs, change their policies about it, and enact methods to prevent it.