Employee theft is a big problem for small businesses. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75 percent of employees steal from their employers. And most do it repeatedly. A typical business loses nearly five percent of their earnings due to employees stealing! Don’t let your salon or spa be the victim.
Such figures may be hard to accept, but unless you take preventive actions, the reality is that your salon or spa will be affected in a monetary way. Here are some ways to stop employee theft in its tracks:
- Create a policy you can enforce. While this may be a basic step, it’s a start and it’s important. An effective policy must detail immoral engagements such as stealing cash, inventory, or accounting fraud. Your policy should be put in writing, and should be provided to every single employee at the salon or spa. It should be known to your employees that if they are caught in the act, termination or legal action could follow.
- Hire sensibly. No business owner would go to hire someone if they knew they would potentially steal from them. That’s why doing a background check on a potential employee is a great way to weed out the quite possibly dishonest individuals. Make references a required section on your employment application, and actually check to verify them. References should of course include past employers or co-workers, not just personal contacts.
- Conduct surprise checks. In addition to regular checks, conduct a surprise audit here and there. If you currently have a manual log for inventory, speak with your designated inventory employee and stress to them the importance of theft control. Employees at the salon or spa always chat, and if your lead employee knows how strongly you feel about missing inventory, they will relay the message to the other employees.
- Build a solid relationship with your staff. You can minimize or prevent theft at your salon or spa altogether by sustaining a strong relationship with your staff. If you pay your employees fairly, and they come to you with any issues they may have, it’s safe to say they place their trust in you. If they feel they matter at your company, they are less likely to feel undervalued and even less likely to steal from you.
- Automate the inventory process. Are you still doing inventory the old fashioned way with pen and paper? If you’re suspecting that someone may be skimming your inventory, switch to an automatic inventory system. You could also save a lot of money with inventory automation. For one, you’ll save on labor hours and in turn, increase employee productivity in other areas. Also, you’ll discourage the person who’s stealing, as your entire inventory will now be accounted for on the computer. Additionally, you’ll increase the accuracy of your inventory count and dramatically decrease clerical errors.
You will also reduce mistakes when ordering product. A solid salon or spa software, for example, should know how much product you have on hand and how much you should order, recommended based on your average use. Finally, such software should have the capability of sending your suppliers a purchase order with one simple click.
In short, avoiding employee theft should be a top concern for your business. By creating strong policies, hiring sensibly, conducting surprise checks, building relationships with your staff, and automating the inventory process, you can stay on top of your inventory and minimize theft drastically.
Does your salon or spa have such strategies in place? If not, it’s time for you to act.