According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75 percent of employees have stolen from their employers, and many do so repeatedly.
The best way to improve accountability for any employee, temporary or permanent, is to utilize an electronic key control system to deter theft and detect and document key activity. Here are three key elements of preventing theft this summer.
If you don't properly secure your keys, they can easily end up in the wrong hands. Some companies use a manual key control method such as storing keys in a drawer or hanging them on a pegboard. However, the problem with this method is that there's no way to automatically verify if an employee has authorization to check out certain keys.
An electronic system, on the other hand, can help you deter criminal behavior. You can assign different access levels for your permanent and summer employees. If an employee takes a key they are not authorized to check out, an audible alarm will go off and/or you will be sent an email and text alert, notifying you of the action.
Response time is crucial when it comes to theft. In addition to deterring employees from checking out keys outside of their access level, email and text alerts can also notify you of missing or overdue keys before a prohibited activity is performed by your staff. The message will let you know which key is missing and which employee last checked it out so you can promptly address the security breach.
Proper documentation is key to preventing internal theft. If you rely on a manually updated log book and insecure key storage methods, your key control practices are vulnerable to manipulation. For example, a summer employee could remove a key from a pegboard without signing it out and return it before anyone notices it's missing.
With an electronic key control system, you'll be able to easily keep a real-time verifiable audit trail of which users checked out or returned keys and the date, time and reason they did so. Users cannot forge or alter data, so you'll automatically have tighter and more accurate key security than if you were using a manual process.
Want to read some true stories about employee theft? Check out what happened to the University of Arkansas and Tiffany & Co.