New Kessler Survey finds that 95% of employees steal from employers, up from 79% in Kessler’s 1999 study.
New York, NY (Law Firm Newswire) April 29, 2013 – An anonymous survey conducted by Kessler International of 500 company employees in varying retail and service industries found that employees are more likely to steal from their employer than their customers. The theft comes in the form of stolen time, theft of office supplies and equipment, theft and sale of corporate secrets and even the theft of the products and services offered by their own employers. The startling uptick in theft was attributed to several factors including employee increased misuse of company computers and smartphones, and a pervasive feeling by younger employees that they are “owed” more from their employers and based upon written responses are much more self-absorbed with themselves than the previous generation. The survey shows that many younger employees have lost the meaning of honesty, integrity and ethics.
Theft of Time
Over 30% of the employees surveyed admitted to falsifying time records at their job. Employees were said to often write earlier arrival or later departure times or ask colleagues to clock them in and out.
Theft of time can also come in the form of unauthorized use of company computers and personal smartphones by employees on company time. Astonishingly, nearly 80% of those surveyed admitted to engaging in some sort of personal activity via computer or phone while at work. While this type of activity may seem to be done in nominal blocks of time, with five minutes here or there, these minutes add up and may result in hundreds of hours of lost productivity and time for a company over the course of a year. The advent of social media, virtually non-existent in 1999, has further encouraged the theft of time by employees, with 63% of those surveyed admitting to having checked their Facebook, Twitter or similar accounts during work hours.
Theft of Office Supplies
52% of those surveyed indicated that they have stolen items such as pens, pads, note pads, labels, folders, toilet paper and other office supplies for personal use. Employees also confessed to printing large documents for themselves and their spouses, their children’s school projects and other personal uses, often printing in color. A small percentage of those who admitted to stealing office supplies indicated that they also took items of greater worth such as USB drives, blank printable CDs, staplers, telephone chargers and computer accessories.
Theft of Corporate Intelligence
18% of those surveyed admitted to having stolen corporate intelligence from previous and current employers. This was noted to include everything from client lists, marketing lists, and proprietary and unique knowledge used in the course of business. Although less prevalent than any other theft surveyed, this can clearly be one of the most detrimental to employers.
Theft of Products and Services
35% of employees surveyed confessed to having stolen goods or services from their employer at one time. There was a wide range in terms of value seen here, as value is dependent upon the particular service or product offered by the employer. 45% of those surveyed indicated that they were either aware of or observed other employees at their current company or at previous companies stealing goods and services.
About Kessler International
Kessler provides forensic accounting, digital forensics and investigative services worldwide from its offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, Chicago, Honolulu, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong and London and affiliates throughout the world. Established in 1988, Kessler’s satisfied clients include an extensive and distinguished list of Fortune 500 companies, prestigious law firms, government agencies and individuals worldwide.
For information about Kessler’s services contact Susan Peterson at 212-286-9100 or visit Kessler International’s website at http://www.investigation.com/.
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