How Should I Approach Employee Theft In The Workplace?

Have you ever been in a situation of employee theft? And you weren’t sure of how to approach it?

Employee theft is a problem in the workplace, and it is something that employers need to be aware of, as this can have a serious impact on an organization’s finances and productivity. 


It’s important to approach the issue responsibly so that employees feel understood and safe in reporting theft, and so that the organization can take appropriate measures to prevent future incidents. 

This article considers tips on how to approach Employee theft in the workplace. 

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Types Of Employees Theft

1. Theft Of Inventory 

Employees are often the ones who have access to inventory and can be a source of theft. In some cases, employees may steal items for personal use or sell the merchandise without authorization


Theft of inventory can have a significant impact on businesses, as it can result in decreased sales and increased expenses. 

To reduce the risk of employee theft, companies should ensure that employees have a clear understanding of company policies and procedures regarding inventory management, and take measures to prevent unauthorized access to information.

2. Theft Of Services

Employee theft of services has been on the rise in recent years. 

This type of theft occurs when an employee takes advantage of their position and steals resources or information that is not theirs to take. 


Theft can take many different forms, from taking extra hours without getting paid, to stealing company data.

Thefts can have a serious impact on businesses, costing them money in lost revenue and damage to their reputation.

3. Theft Of Data

Today, employee theft of data is a problem that businesses must face. Employees are often the first to know about potential security breaches and may be more likely to take advantage of the opportunity if they believe the breach isn’t serious.

In some cases, employees may even believe that they are helping to protect the company by stealing data. Unfortunately, this type of theft can have serious consequences for businesses and their customers.

When employees steal data, it can impact both current and future business operations. Data stolen in a recent breach could be used to commit fraud or circumvent safety procedures, potentially harming customers as well as the company’s reputation.

In addition, stolen data may be sold on the black market to other criminals, who could use it to create new identities or steal information from other companies.

To prevent employee theft of data, businesses need to take several steps.

Read also: Can You Terminate An Employee Before The End Of A PIP?

4. Theft Of Money

Employees are often entrusted with the responsibility of handling company money. This can lead to employees stealing money from their employers. There are a number of reasons why employees may steal money from their employers. 

Some may be looking for personal gain, while others may be seeking revenge against their employer. Whatever the reason, theft of money can lead to serious consequences for both the employee and the employer.

5. Theft Of Payroll

Employee theft of payroll is a big problem in today’s economy. Employees who steal payroll often end up taking advantage of their co-workers by stealing their wages and benefits.

This can lead to reduced morale and even job loss. In addition, stolen payroll can lead to financial problems for the business because it costs money to back pay workers and pay fines associated with government investigations into worker theft.

6. Theft Of Time

Time theft is a problem that employers and employees face on a regular basis. Employee theft of time can take many different forms, but all share the common goal of taking away from the employer what should be reserved for work.

In some cases, employee theft of time can be innocent mistakes. However, in other cases, it may be something more intentional and purposeful.

Employees steal time from their employers on a daily basis. This theft can be in the form of taking unauthorized breaks, coming into work late or working off the clock.

In most cases, these employees are not caught and their employers are not aware that they have been stealing time. 

You may like: Tips For Conducting A Successful Annual Employee Review

How To Approach Employee Theft In The Workplace 

Here are some tips on how to approach workplace theft 

1. Establish Clear Expectations For Employee Behavior

Employees need to be clear about what is and are not acceptable behavior in the workplace. This means setting expectations upfront and enforcing them consistently.

If employees do not abide by these expectations, they may face disciplinary action, including possible termination. 

Be clear about what constitutes unacceptable behavior, such as stealing from the office or taking advantage of fellow employees.

And make sure you have a system in place to track and report incidents so you can take appropriate measures.

2. Identify The Suspect

Employees have a responsibility to protect company property. When employees fail to uphold this responsibility, it can lead to theft. Here are four tips for identifying the suspect in employee theft: 

  •  Look for witnesses. If an employee is caught stealing, they may have help from others on the job. 

Asking employees who were around when the theft occurred if they saw anything might provide clues as to who committed the crime.

  •  Check security videos and photos. If there are any video or photo recordings of the crime taking place, review them carefully in order to identify the suspect.

 It’s also important to check for clues such as clothing or accessories that may be associated with the thief.

  •  Track down financial records and reports. Financial records can help identify where money was spent and who owned what items after an employee’s theft.
Also check: Employee Orientation: Keeping New Employees On Board

3. Gather Evidence

Evidence is needed to handle workplace theft Firstly make a list of what was stolen. This will help you remember what was taken and who was responsible for it.

Secondly, take photos or videos of the scene of the crime. These may be helpful in prosecuting the offender(s).

Thirdly, contact your insurance company and file a report with them. This will help document the theft and give authorities more information about who may have been involved.

Fourthly, ask employees if they know anything about the stolen items or who might have been involved.

4. Terminate The Employee

An initial warning or write-up is the most frequent way to rectify workplace misbehavior. Termination is the last resort for behavior that goes beyond just a warning. 

Theft, on the other hand, is not one of the first things you’re probably likely to encounter with an employee. 

If you determine an employee stole from the business, a warning won’t do anything except show your leniency.

The fear of punishment is associated with stealing for many people since they view it as something that’s easy. If an employee is willing to steal from your company, they’re not one you want to retain.

5. File A Police Report

Any type of theft is treated as a crime under insurance. If you have insurance that ensures internal theft, then a police report might be required for claimed insurance. The police report will serve as the proof of the situation required by your insurance company to pay you.


It is so important to take a proactive approach to deal with employee theft in the workplace. 

By following some simple steps stated in this article,  such as establishing clear policies and procedures, conducting regular audits, and training employees on the importance of reporting suspected theft, businesses can minimize the chances of becoming a victim of employee theft in the workplace. 


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