Gene Marks on Employee Theft

Worried that your employees are stealing? Business expert Gene Marks recommends that you have them take a vacation.

Video Transcript

I’m fascinated by employee theft. I love stories like that and, only ‘cause I always think to myself, like, my God, you know, what kind of – if you steal from the company how do you even go home and sleep at night? Like what’s the – is there the perfect robbery that you can make from the company? Has that like been like thought up yet? Um, not yet. Not yet. Because, you know, when you read in the paper about employee theft it’s always like, always something stupid. It’s always like what was that guy thinking? Like, of course he was gonna get caught. Your employees can steal from you. Okay? I mean, there’s temptation around. Now the people ever steal, there’s really two types. People that work with your inventory, your product – they can steal from you. So, you know, you know, simple things like locking stuff up goes a long way. You’d be surprised at how complacent a lot of business owners are about doing that. Making frequent inventory counts, having security cameras – it’s an asset in your business. And it amazes me how many of my clients don’t go to those lengths. The other type of person that can steal from you is people that are dealing with your financial books and records – your accounting manager, your bookkeeper, or whatever. And I’ll tell you, if you ever read a story about a bookkeeper or a controller that stole from a company, and there’s al – always the newspaper, you open up, you see those stories. Watch and see how they got caught because nine times out of ten they got caught for one reason, and that reason is they went on vacation. If you ever have an employee in a financial role that says to you, oh, I’m just a workaholic. I don’t take vacation. Nah, no vacation for me. You never, ever accept that. When you have somebody in a financial role you have to require them to take vacation – no ifs, ands, or buts. They have to take a vacation, maybe once or twice a year they’re out of the office. Why? Because if that person is doing something that’s a little nefarious somebody’s filling in for them, nine times out of ten something gets uncovered because of that because somebody’s like, gee, that’s a little odd the way Bob was accounting for this, and I don’t understand what all these eraser marks are, all these questions get asked and then the whole ball of, you know, ball of yarn becomes unraveled. So you gotta make your employees take vacations, particularly if they’re in the financial role. You keep their duties separate but make sure they’re not, you know, they’re taking some time off. If you do that, that is a very significant way to, you know, to protect yourself against employee theft.

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