Previously we have written about educating your seasonal staff and taking steps to limit your vulnerability to theft by your seasonal staff. But as the employer-employee relationship changes during this age of the “gig economy”, the attitudes and interests of your temporary employees should be taken into account.
As any good planner will tell you, it’s never too late to plan for the future; especially for any retail stores that hire temporary employees for those busy seasons. It is not sufficient to rely on staffing firms and temporary employment agencies to do all the work.
With all of the new faces around retail stores, security becomes of greater importance. Simple preparation practices can help limit the amount taken from businesses.
If You Don’t Want the Crime, Do the Time
Over 75% of employees have stolen from their place of employment. Not limited to inventory, this could include time spent by employees conducting their personal business or inventory from your store while still on the clock. A higher percentage of theft, 42.7%, came from employees rather than by shoplifters, 35.6%. These numbers can become higher for businesses once temporary employees enter the fray.
The Quick Shift
Quickly building a good rapport with temporary employees can be crucial. When businesses hire for special seasons, they would typically like to rely on the same people each season. It can be tedious to retrain new seasonal hires every time that time of year comes, so you want to have a familiar face around.
It also important to remember that they are helping you. Temporary employees may not have the sense of loyalty that a full-time employee may have to you. This makes building the good rapport not only a necessity, but also an immediate need to change that sense of loyalty after you hire them for the holiday season or whatever occasion.
Employee Hide and Seek
When searching for new employees, there are ways of finding the best employees for your business. Before even hiring someone to join your staff, it is important to perform a screening of these potential job holders. Background checks help to find any glaring red flags that a prospect may never let you know about. Also, it can let you know how honest they really are. If, during the interview process, someone fails to mention something from their past that comes up in a screening, you know they have a lower chance of developing loyalty and accountability. Once you find someone loyal, it is important to make all expectations clear.
Keeping Everyone Accountable
Clear expectations can help employees stay on target. When employees know their jobs and know what is expected of them, they are less likely to stray from those expectations. Policies should be established on Day One and help maintain status quo when upheld consistently. Whether responsible for something like a minor violation or something as serious as theft, employees must know there will be consequences to actions. Another way to keep everyone accountable is to have employees work together on accomplishing tasks.
Whether swimming in the lake at Camp Hope or working on an assignment, it is important to have a buddy system. When working with a partner, two things can be accomplished. The first is that when working together, partners are more likely to hold each other accountable. They will work together to accomplish their goal as both would like to receive credit, rather than letting each other down. Also, with the consequences lined out from your expectations, they are more likely to keep each other in check. This helps reduce any possibilities of theft when they know there are another pair of eyes on them. One important factor to consider when placing co-workers together is the friendship level of the two. If the pair is close, they will be more likely to cover up for each other or take chances that unfamiliar duos would not be comfortable doing.
Private Eyes are Watching You
The final step to helping with temporary employees is to allow for anonymous reporting. When employees can report suspicious activity anonymously, they are more likely to report it. One for the sake of being seen by their peers. Employees don’t want to be seen as a “snitch” for telling on a fellow employee’s activity. Secondly, if employees know that anyone can report them, they may be more inclined to not perform illegal activity. The more eyes on each other, the better.
Keeping a Permanent Hold on Temporary Employees
With the seasonal times that come every year, businesses will take on additional help along with the additional risks of losses by new employees. But the disadvantages of employing temporary staff should not outweigh the advantages. By following a few simple steps, businesses can ensure that they will be secure from any theft from their temporary employees.
By screening ahead of time, it becomes easier to select the right candidates for the job. Once on the job, setting expectations and assigning buddies will help keep everyone together working on the common goal and know what happens when they veer from that path. Finally, it is important to allow everyone to report things anonymously because they may be more inclined to report something that may not always be caught on camera.
Through all of this, a good rapport can be built between employers and employees, and the risks of theft become temporary as well.