Do tough times lead to increased employee pilferage?
Shoplifting and employee pilferage seems to be rising at many retail chains, and experts are pointing at a prime cause: the sputtering economy.
Shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud, organized retail crime and administrative errors cost the retail industry $119 billion in 2011 or 1.45% of sales.
This global shrink rate is 6.6% worldwide higher than the previous year, according to the Global Retail Theft Barometer, and represents the highest percentage recorded by the survey since it began in 2007.
Since direct theft makes up roughly 80% of shrink, retailers need to step up their vigilance, warns John Fice, COO of LP Innovations, the largest loss prevention solution provider in the United States.
Their solution: Institute a whistleblower hotline.
Overwhelmingly, honest employees want to come forward with knowledge of fraud or business abuse, but there are definitely barriers involved.
That's why a successful whistleblower hotline should be staffed with live operators who are trained in interviewing callers, says LP's Keven Griggs.
In addition, these operators must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because callers, fearing retaliation, aren't likely to call the line while at work, during normal business hours.
What would you do? If someone was stealing, would you intervene or blow the whistle on them?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money