Hello Friends,
I am working as Hr generalist in a software company which has a strength of about 50 employees.Recently one of our employee forgot his cell phone on his desk and went out station on holiday.When he came back the phone could not be found.He says someone has stolen it and has asked HR to take action for it.Now this is a very sensitive issue and i am in a dilemma as to how should we handle this.
Also in future to avoid such scenario what precautionary measures can be taken.Please guide.

From India, Pune
Hello friend,

There are a few suggestions:

1. You should put a NOTICE on display board that all employees are responsible for the security of their personal valuable items - like cell phone etc.

2. Inform internal security department that such a theft has happened. So that they are aware.

3. Establish a system to check outside people coming in - their should be thorough check - no outsider should be allowed to enter office premises. Even if allowed they should be asked to wait is specified reception area where employees can meet them.

4. If employee decides to take him to his work place then that can be permitted.

5. Check during those days if any outsiders had entered the office premises - there may be some clue.

6. You may request department people in a standing meeting that a Cellphone is lost or misplaced - if anyone knows about it he/she may inform.

7. Most likely- one of his close associate may have taken the cell and not informing because he/she wants to teach a lesson for his/her careless behavior.

8. Talk to administration department and decide IF the case needs to be informed to Police. However involving police is not a good idea as they will harass various people and it will nt be a pleasant experience. So think it over - and as a final resort you may actually go to police.

9. Not sure - but there is a specific code for cellphone which can help trace the handset. Provide you know that code.


From United States, Greensboro
Dear Nitu,

In absence of any solid proof the management can not blame any employee unless someone has seen that cell phone was picked by any particular individual and failed to inform the HR or management.

In this particular instance the HR can only send out a circular or mailer requesting all employees to report/deposit the cell phone in case anyone has seen/found it.

How can the employee be sure that he has forgotten the cell phone at the office and has not dropped outside the premises on his way?
Is there anyone who has seen the cellphone after the employee has left for vacation?
Also if he was given corporate number you can request the service provider to furnish you with the details of last calls made from that cell phone and the location/s from where they were made.This will give you an idea in which area the phone was active last.

That employee should have noticed the missing cellphone before going out of city so why he didn't informed the HR at that time?

You need to discuss this with the senior management whether they feel that it was the management responsibility and if the mgt would give the employee another cell phone from office expenses? Also you need to take this into account that if the management purchases a new cell phone and give it to that employee then in future anyone who has lost his cell phone even outside the office premises will be demanding a new phone claiming that it was left on desk and someone stole it.

Now for future, you have to make a circular and include in policy that All employees are responsible for their personal belongings.Any kind of valuables should not be left at office and in case it is mandatory they should be locked away properly.

Also if the management approves you can have CCTV cameras installed in the premises, you can justify to the management that it will also help in keeping track of employees who are absent from their seats more frequently ensuring more productivity.:icon6:

You can educate employees/Admin/Security staff/Office boys/housekeeping to report if they seen any cellphone unattended.

Hope this will be of some help.

warm regards

From India, Delhi
Owning and keeping mobile phone is the responsibility of owner/user. This is well to known to all.
How HR can take action on any one without proof.
Also, what proof has given that he left mobile in office only?
Did he inform any seniors in the office about his mobile.
In this circustance he can not put pressure on HR to take action.
But educate all to keep their belongings in safe custody.

From United Arab Emirates, Dubai
Do not entertain such complaints first of all...next day someone will say that he / she has lost 1 lakh in the office premises..it is individual's responsibility to take care of personal belongings.
Some one cannot defame or insult other employees with such blame..
Asst. Manager - Administration
Reflexis Systems India Pvt. Ltd.,

From India, Madras
even police cant do anything as its lost in office so sole responsibility of employee only, better u should counsel employee not to keep belongings here n there, n btw my office is too big spread over a big space n still employees keep their mobiles in their desks n go out, but no mobile ever got stolen, whereas if one wishes anyone can come n steal mobile,, so also depends on what type of employees work in ur office, :icon10::icon10:
From India, Pune

Hi nitu How can is quite this many day, is he really lost his mobile? as you said he was on a leave period... if mobile is stolen why he did brought it into notice.. Smrin
From India, Hyderabad
Hello Nitu,
I have read your full description and really this is a very sensitive issue as that employee can now suspect anybody, even you. You can ask that employee where he was last time with the cell and what time it was. If it was an evening time when the employees were ready to leave, then it would be possible to any body to pick up the phone and walk-out. In that case it will not be possible to get the real culprit. And an outsider can also take it if he lost in any public place. And even he may have lost outside and thinking that he has lost in the office. So it's really better not to think about it, but defenitely keep your things secure.

And this is just a mobile, let's think that if you loose important information of the office and which may bear great value to your work. Then what to do? Please see below:

Data Terminator is specially developed to protect confidential data files from being accessed by a stranger.
Data Terminator permanently deletes selected files from your computer if your PC is no longer under your control.
Main Features:
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We are using the most reliable data termination algorithms, so the stranger doesn't have any chance to recover deleted files
Ability to remotely control multiple computers
If you are a business owner or an IT specialist who is in charge of your company data privacy, use Data Terminator on your employees' computers and specify which files have to be terminated in case anything goes wrong with an employee computer.
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In case your remote PC can't access the Internet and you can't terminate your files remotely, your confidential data is still protected! Data Terminator can be programmed to delete pre-selected files automatically, so stranger can’t access them!

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From India, Calcutta
Hi Sankha,
That's really helpful piece of information, because in any theft case is a very sensitive issue for the office may it be personal or office belongings.And the biggest obstacle is you have no means to find out whether it is done by an internal or external person.As our office has access card entry so it is not easily possible for any outside person to enter in our office.but also we cannot crosscheck any of our employees also as it will create an unhealthy atmosphere inside the office.Still the to avoid the theft of important official documents your suggested means are really helpful.
Thanks and regards,

From India, Pune
Hi Netu,
Most of the members had given very valuable suggestions but i think, you need to take a stand saying that "the information is too late and could have been informed immediately"
You can also say that "we still try our best to find out your mobile incase you lost it in our office"
This will show a definite signal to take care of his things & also don't mind in telling these things irrespective of his position/seniority.
Thanks and regards

From India, Hyderabad

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