Your staff are an integral part of your business – and the success of your store heavily relies on them being responsible, productive, great with customers and trustworthy.

When I met Chris Shelley for this week’s retailer profile, he told me how doubling the size of his store and moving into convenience meant he now has to dedicate responsibility for several areas of the shop to different members of staff.

He trusts them to take care of his business as much as he does.

Unfortunately for some, having that trust in staff can sometimes backfire and that’s what Betty and Martin Slater found when they discovered that an employee and friend of 25 years was stealing from them.

The Slaters were monitoring their margins, which plummeted from 26% to 10%, and couldn’t understand why they were losing money.

Reviewing their CCTV, they found out that one member of staff was pocketing cash, lottery scratchcards and cigarettes.

They now believe she stole as much as £200,000 from them – an amount that plunged the couple into debt and forced them to remortgage – and have ramped up their checks on staff as a result.

It’s right to trust your employees and to give them responsibility. But you cannot abdicate management responsibility. It’s your job to hold everyone accountable.