starting your own law firm

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Running a business is filled with various challenges, including keeping your employees honest. Every year an estimated $50 billion is stolen from U.S. businesses by employees. Sadly up to 33 percent of bankrupt businesses cite employee theft as the main cause for closing their doors. To avoid prematurely shutting doors, as well as the emotional and financial hassle of dishonest employees, there are a few steps that you can take.

Keeping the Time Card Honest

Cross-industry research estimates that as many as 45 percent of hourly workers artificially manipulate their timesheets. In fact 20 percent of polled hourly workers have admitted to clocking co-workers in or out as favors to help them meet required hours, or for other fraudulent purposes. Unfortunately, the latter statistics apply to both in-office and remote employees.

Clearly, the cost of employee dishonesty is great enough to take the effort to stop it. By implementing at least one of the following strategies, you can reduce employee-driven time card inaccuracies, and thus ensure that you are only paying for the work that your employees complete, and not the false hours that they try to submit.

  1. Use Biometric Clocks. — Did you know that a computer can use facial recognition to reduce time card fraud? Biometric clocks are used to verify that your employees are working at their computers. This facial recognition software is a great choice for jobs, such as call centers, that require employees to be on their computer throughout the day.
  2. Location-Based Apps. — A simple phone tracking app with a GPS component, such as ClockShark, is a good solution for businesses that have employees in the field. The latter type of app will record the time, location, and job costs for every employee. The beauty of these phone apps is that they can work even if your employees are out of cell service or WiFi areas.
  3. Cloud-Based Timesheets. — Cloud-based software, such as Timesheets.com, can be used to track employee work habits. This type of software can typically be used on tablets, desktops, smart phones, and laptops. It is a great option for managers who need to review and approve submitted timesheets for hundreds of employees.

Avoid False Workers Compensation Claims

Every year U.S. employees commit an estimated $30 million in workers’ compensation fraud. While the insurance company is responsible for paying workers’ compensation claims, there is a negative impact on your business. False or multiple claims will increase your company’s health insurance rates to astronomical heights. You can help to keep your employees honest by completing the following steps:

  1. Make sure that your business takes safety seriously.
  2. Complete multiple safety audits throughout the year.
  3. Immediately investigate each claim for workers’ compensation.
  4. Never make an injured employee feel as if they have been “abandoned,” especially when they are trying to sort through the aftermath of an at-work injury.

Don’t Lose Out To Employee Embezzlement

Did you know that one of the most common types of employee dishonesty occurs via embezzlement? From stealing money from a cash register, to making false claims about lost work property, there are several ways that employees can take company property. If you want to keep your employees honest and avoid cases of embezzlement, then you will need to maintain a pleasant work environment. Oftentimes employees steal when they feel that they are being mistreated or the work environment has become hostile.

In addition to creating a positive work environment, you should keep detailed records. These records should include serial numbers for work devices, photos of the work property, and scheduled checks on the devices. You can also use security cameras to ensure that in-office valuables are only accessed by approved employees. The security cameras will also help to keep your employees honest, since it will be that much harder to implement in-office embezzlement scams.

Use a Private Investigator to Keep Your Employees Honest

One of the most effective ways to keep your employees honest is to use a private investigator. Before you even hire a new employee, you should conduct a background check. Similar to the routine tenant screening that landlords perform, background checks can reveal the potential bad employee in advance. Private investigative agencies can help with this kind of screening. New York private investigator Darrin Giglio, who has helped many businesses with employee problems, advises employers to “be sure to include checking the character references diligently.” Don’t skimp on the background check.

A skilled investigator can help reduce your risk of hiring a “bad seed.” More importantly, a private investigator can investigate suspected theft or dishonesty, or corporate criminality. If you suspect that your employees are dishonest and stealing from you, then you should hire a private investigator to confirm or dispel your suspicion. Are employees forging receipts for nonexistent purchases? Stealing products for their own personal profit? Or any of the numerous other ways to defraud your business? A private investigator can help you to take the precautionary steps that you need to keep your employees honest and avoid the emotional and financial damages associated with employee theft or fraud.