From a bartender’s gradual syphoning of cash from the register to a gas station attendant’s occasional pilfering of unaccounted-for beer and snacks, the financial damage wrought by employee theft has officially rivaled that of shoplifting! According to the National Retail Federation, retail businesses lost an estimated $34.5 billion last year due to employee theft which accounted for 43.9 percent of total loses (compared to shoplifting’s 35.7 percent).
So, how do you prevent employees from stealing from your business?
The best way to prevent employee theft is through the effective use of high quality closed circuit television cameras (CCTV cameras). However, it may not be enough to simply install a single commercial surveillance camera in your retail store or warehouse. Often times, clever employees will find ways around being caught-on-camera by moving their criminal activities to other locations within your facility. And don’t think that purchasing and installing a phony “dummy” camera will act as an effective visual deterrent (at least not for long), especially when your employees find out that it’s not really connected to anything.
Let’s take a look at what you need to prevent employee theft in your company:
Multiple CCTV Cameras
In order to monitor your employees effectively, you will want to position several high quality closed circuit TV cameras throughout your building— covering multiple locations from a variety of angles. You may also want to consider installing a couple of hidden cameras on your premises. You might be surprised at what your employees will do when they think they are just outside the range of the camera’s watchful eye. There is a wide selection of surveillance cameras available to suit your specific needs and the needs of your specific business environment:
Indoor & Outdoor Surveillance Cameras
These are the indoor retail surveillance cameras you will commonly see place throughout your supermarket and big-box stores like Super Walmart and Costco. The “smoked” dome variety are especially effective in deterring employee theft and shoplifting since the darkened dome makes it impossible for a crook to tell in which direction the camera lens in facing. Domed cameras allow you to tilt, pan, and zoom to track potential offenders throughout your building.
Outdoor Surveillance Cameras
This category spans the gamut of weatherproof security cameras from outdoor pan tilt zoom cameras to weatherized domed cameras and other remote controlled surveillance camera varieties.
There are an increasing number of cleverly deceptive hidden surveillance cameras on the market today designed to look like ordinary objects in the workplace like clocks, electrical outlets, smoke detectors, and even boom boxes. Depending upon the model, these hidden security cameras can have built-in video storage, remote IP video storage, or can even stream live video to your mobile device.
Night Vision Cameras
Infrared or IR security cameras detect heat and will capture objects that are warmer than their background. The infrared illuminators turn on and allow you to see much clearer that the human eye in both low light and no light conditions. Some say the effect is like walking around in the pitch dark with a flashlight. Just be sure to keep them away from any heat sources that may confuse them.
Low-light cameras require a small amount of ambient light in order to function. They magnify this light to allow for a clear picture. Unlike IR cameras, they are unaffected by ambient heat. They are, however, sensitive to ambient light—so be mindful of nearby light sources when positioning your cameras.
Remote Camera Monitoring
Remote monitoring of surveillance cameras gives you the ability to view and record the actions and conduct of your employees from a safe distance without allowing your monitoring equipment (and potential evidence) to become vulnerable. Years ago, monitors were commonly placed in back rooms allowing employees access to the video recordings as well as the exact areas of security camera coverage within the business.
Today, it’s easier than ever to check up on your employees while you’re on-the-go. SHIELD® Security Systems can help you stay connected with real-time monitoring and live streaming video from your iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, iPad, laptop, or other mobile device. You can even zoom in to take a closer look with optical zoom and digital zoom features.