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Posts Tagged ‘supplies’

How to Keep Your Office Stationery Supplies Safe

The occasional missing pen or notepad might not be worth your serious attention, however, if you have serial stationery thieves amongst your ranks it could be costing your business valuable time and resources each year.

 

It’s been found by Office Genie that millions of UK companies are victim to office supply theft, with nearly a quarter of employees stealing from their workplace:

 

  • Workplace theft is highest in the East of England, with 34% of staff admitting to it.
  • Creative companies – watch out. 45% of employees in the creative sector admitted to stealing items, which makes them the biggest culprits.
  • The top five stolen stationery items are pens, envelopes, Post-Its, markers or highlighters, and sellotape.
  • If caught red-handed 53% of staff believe that they’ll receive a warning from their employer, though 33% believe that there will be no consequences.

 

Why might people steal from you?

 

Sometimes office theft isn’t just about needing an extra supply of paper or printing supplies at home. Stationery theft often relates to the employer/employee dynamic as a whole, such as how trusted or valued employees feel. For instance, locking away and restricting stationery supplies to a minimum may create frustration amongst your workforce as it minimises trust. If a member of staff feels underpaid or undervalued, they may resort to behaviours like stealing to gain an upper hand.

 

What happens if your staff are stealing your supplies?

 

The Fair Work Act and Fair Work Regulation considers employee theft as a serious misconduct.
Following the National Employment Standards, serious misconduct can be remediated by terminating your employee’s employment without notice. But you may be thinking that stealing 5 pens is far less punishable than thieving £5,000 worth of product, right?
The seriousness of the offence will depend upon many factors, such as the circumstances of the act and what evidence you have; whether this is the employee’s first theft; what level position they are employed in; plus, the possible impacts of the theft on your business.

 

If it is not a serious misconduct, then there are a few things you could do to remediate the issue. Depending on the circumstance you could offer verbal warning or written warning, or agree on appropriate action according to the terms in their contract.

 

Preventing stationery theft in the workplace

 

Regardless of what it is or the amount that has been stolen, theft is still a misconduct and costs a business time and money. In order to prevent workplace theft, you’ll need to clearly set out appropriate policies which are consistently applied:

 

  • Assess the purchase and distribution process of office supplies to minimise potential for theft. Look at the company spend on office supplies – making set monthly or quarterly orders instead of having an ‘as-and-when’ approach will help you better control costs. Perhaps you may also assign a specific member of staff to purchase office supplies and require employees to sign for particular items.

 

  • Open engagement with staff by asking them about suggestions for preventing theft. Clearly setting out your expectations and applying procedures fairly will ensure a more trustful relationship.

 

  • Policies on office theft should be simple, with office supply items listed clearly. State what counts as theft, what measures will be taken if employees are caught stealing, and how employees can report suspected theft confidentially.

 

  • You may want to limit accessibility to stationery supplies by using locked storage, however remember to be open about your reasons for this action so as not to create frustration among staff.

 

For any more advice on streamlining your office supply costs you can speak to the team at Discount Office UK. We provide office product and planning services to help businesses save on all their office needs, and by setting up a simple business account you can have access to our extensive range of office supplies at the best prices.