Although it is said that 95% of companies suffer from employee theft, it is probably closer to 100%. Serious theft, however, is a different thing entirely. There is a world of difference between the theft of a few pens and the steady depletion of stock through organized crime within a large organization. This sort of employee theft is estimated as causing over 30% of all company bankruptcies, and many companies are in desperate need of a means of controlling it.
The first action a company must take is to clarify to employees the penalty for employee theft. At the very least, immediate suspension pending investigation must be stated as the initial step. The matter should then put into the hands of your lawyers, and the law processes should be allowed to proceed. You should not dismiss anyone until the case has been proven legally, or you could find that you are the one answering charges. These procedures should be clearly stated on company notice boards and should have union support where relevant.
There are some forms of employee theft that are almost impossible to control. Intellectual theft of company secrets can be controlled theoretically by the introduction of tight contracts with key personnel, such as senior managers and scientists, but if they decide to move to another company such contracts are almost impossible to enforce. Though a contract may state that a senior scientist cannot legally work for another company in the same line of business for a set period of time after employment is terminated, how do you stop them working for a competitor from home or from an overseas facility?
How do you stop customer theft, another form of employee theft that frequently involves an employee either providing a new employer with a customer list, or taking customers that they personally deal with along with them? This is very difficult if not impossible, since you cannot control your customers’ allegiances.
Proper control starts at the employment stage. » Read more: Employee Theft And How To Tackle It