Park Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., President, Threat Assessment Group Inc.
An important strategy for avoiding misconduct by insiders — theft, fraud, violence and more — is to hire people of good character. This was easier in the days of pre-employment psychological testing and when prior employers were willing to provide negative information. Today, the best substitutes are (a) sophisticated interviewing by staffing specialists or managers trained in spotting psychopaths and other trouble makers; and (b) interviews with developed sources — not the people suggested by the applicant, but others whom those people suggest.
Every employee could help detect misconduct, yet people are unlikely to report their peers unless they have an incentive to do so — such as bonuses for teams or locations that outperform others in reducing theft or fraud. This should be particularly easy to implement for retail shrinkage or workers compensation fraud, where good cost data already exist. I would suggest starting in the worst-hit locations.
When goods or equipment are being stolen before they even reach inventory, you might consider working with suppliers to implant GPS tracking devices or chips that can be tracked in high-value merchandise before it is delivered. Even if the devices are detected by employees who accept delivery of the products, the net result should be deterrence of the theft of similar merchandise.