If you own a retail establishment, an office, a restaurant, or a range of other businesses, you may eventually decide to give some of your employees keys. Before giving a key to your first employee, there are a few things you should consider. Review the following tips.

1. Tell your employee not to make a copy.

Employees may be tempted to make multiple copies of your business key so that they don't lose it. Let employees know that you discourage (or ban) this practice. Too many keys can result in some getting lost and potentially found by people that you don't want to access your facility. To reduce this risk, you may also want to ensure that your business address or similar details are not on the key. That way, if it gets lost, the person who finds it won't be able to link it to your business and use the key to break in.

2. Have a protocol for lost keys.

Once you start giving out your keys to several people, you should set up a protocol for dealing with lost keys. For instance, you may want to have your employee call you immediately in the event of a lost key. Then, you may plan to call a locksmith to have him or her change the locks right away. Having a plan ready to go can make it easier to avoid break-ins. In some cases, you may also want to have employees sign something saying that they take responsibility for certain costs if they lose keys.

3. Consider electronic locks.

So you don't have to deal with lost keys and changing locks, you may just want to opt for electronic keys. These can be programmed with multiple codes, and that makes it easy to give a unique code to each employee. To be on the safe side, you may want to opt for a lock that tracks when the codes are entered. You can use this auditing system to track when various employees come and go, and if someone ever steals anything or uses a code to break in when your business is closed, you can look at the audit trails to see who came in around that time.

4. Don't use the same codes for the locks and safes.

As a business owner, you may have codes for your locks, your safes, and your security system, and you may end up giving codes to several trusted employees. Ideally, you may want to use unique codes for each of these items. That lends a bit of extra security to your business. In this case, if someone breaks in, they need three codes (to open the door, disable the alarm, and open the safe) to get to your cash. If they can get into everything with a single code, that can make the process too easy.