Hopefully you have a tight crew and can trust your staff, but you would be foolish to think employee theft doesn’t occasionally happen. Employee theft can be difficult to track and even harder to prove; the key is prevention. Here are five steps to help prevent and minimize employee theft.
1. Be present. As an owner, it’s hard to be in several places at once, and naturally you will not be able to oversee every operation taking place within your company. However, if you’re present, employees are much less likely to steal. If there is a large transaction that will involve a lot of cash, try to be present.
2. Always have a safe. Installing a safe and making sure a detailed log is kept of what is going in and out, can help maintain a standard of well-being for your financial health. Keeping less cash visible will help reduce internal and external theft risk.
3. Know your inventory. Understand how much cannabis (product or otherwise) and cash is being held at your locations or in transit. Maintaining accurate inventory will help you identify discrepancies early on, before substantial damage can be done.
4. Install cameras. Seems intrusive, but if you handle a lot of cash, it’s a very good idea to have cameras inside and outside your building. This could deter any would be robbers, vandals and employees looking to make a quick buck. If your employees have a problem with cameras, it might give you more reason to be concerned. Stress that the cameras are there to protect them and the business which is true. Deterring theft could keep them out of harm’s way.
5. Pay your employees well! It’s a tough job; make sure you are paying staff a fair wage. If they feel they are overworked and underpaid they may be one step closer to improving their income without your approval.
So what do you do if you taken precautions yet still suspect employee theft? Work with the staff you can trust 100% to keep an eye on your operations when you can’t. If you catch an employee in the act termination is usually the first action, but you can file a police report if you think the loss was great enough. Our policy has the option of providing coverage for employee theft of either product or money/securities.
Employee theft can be a huge risk of running a cultivation center or dispensary, but with the right steps and preventative measures, it doesn’t have to be. Take some time to review your theft prevention and areas to improve them. Talk to other cannabis business owners to see how they deal with it. As society moves away from cash, employee theft becomes less of an issue, but the cannabis industry has a way to go on that front. If you have questions, comments or additional suggestions about these tips, please let us know.