Festive fraud prevention
How to avoid staff fraud before the festive season
While we don’t like to talk about it, and sometimes call it innocuous names like shrinkage, in challenging times employee fraud can become a major problem and here’ s how you can prevent it.
Simply make up a checklist, and run though it prior to any busy period to ensure you and your managers have all the bases covered. And that you staff know that you are vigilant in this area.
I’m sure many of you have made some of these mistakes, but now the stakes are higher, margins are thinner and thieves are more resourceful. Not only do staff need watching, they need to be made aware of how fraud takes place - many of them are east targets for professional con-artists.
Bank more regularly, and upgrade the 'drop safe' system. Investigate the cost of an armoured car cash-collection service - it may be less than you think.
Clear the till more often - piles of notes make people think one missing won't be noticed.
Have staff routinely check all large notes that are tendered - 'check 50!'
Watch for errors when stock is transferred from one bar to another. When they need a case of vodka NOW in the top bar, is the stock transfer system set up to handle a rush request?
Take care with extra tills and satellite bars, often staffed by casual staff. They need the same tight cash & stock controls.
Credit card failures have increased in the last 18 months. This means more cards are 'maxed out' or cancelled and will be declined if presented. Staff need to know the 'firm but tactful' way to handle these situations.
Keep the roster changing, so no-one is entrenched in one position and able to set up a racket with their friends.
Use mystery customer reports on how payments were handled and change given. One member has found the benefit of quietly adding a $10 bill to the till drawer, and checking that the final count was indeed $10 over at the end.
Watch for supplier fraud - short deliveries, fake services (eg the serviceman who 'checks' the fire-extinguishers in his van and gives them the OK) and back-door trading, or a racket with your staff on signing for fake deliveries.
Don’t hire problems. With more people looking for work, raise the hiring standard and run background checks, especially for senior positions. When you find someone you want to hire, get their permission for a proper police check. This will send some running!
OK enough of the negative stuff, what are some of the positive things you can note:
Pay well bonus for better performance - this tells your staff they are above average and respected.
Keep the systems 'sacred' - no rushing the till count or stock-take have and use standardised procedures.
Consider allowing staff to buy meals or product at a good discount, or even at cost. The system needs to have tight rules, but it's appreciated and may reduce 'help yourself' discounts. Maybe even consider permitting them to occasionally buy a meal for friends on the slow nights at “staff rates, at least you’ll have some guests and some turnover.
Unhappy, resentful staff are the most likely to steal - do you know who they are...and do they really need to stay for the festive season?
Despite a growing concern about fruad in troubling economic times, have a great festive seaosn ahead.