You made your plans, executed your programs, perhaps survived inventory and maybe the spring line launch or the influx of Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Prom and Graduation dinners (for you restaurant folks) or shoppers (for our friends in grocery). Many in the organization have worked hard and tirelessly to meet the goals of the first half. And now as the summer kicks in, those much welcomed vacations mean we can kick back.Read More
Some refer to themselves as mystery shoppers, secret shoppers or even undercover agents. The fact of the matter is, “mystery shopping” is about monitoring the quality of employee interaction through the eyes of the customer. The results provide a snapshot in time to give retailers/grocers/restaurant owners an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
An estimated 2.5 million mystery shoppers serve as the eyes and ears for those clients in an effort to enhance the customer experience and in some instances determine adherence to the client’s policies and procedures. Many times, the information collected during mystery shopping programs is used to help the client improve training programs, better articulate expectations they have of their staff, and otherwise improve the ways in which the client serves its customers.Read More
Modern business language is chock full of flavorable terms and phrases. Things that sound really nice, but are more verbal optics than possible realities. Like the Penrose Triangle these little bites of wisdom exist in the endless universe of theory but seldom stand the test of practice. The issues arise when we start to believe that these nuggets of corporate-speak can represent an achievable goal. When managers misinterpret a hackneyed phrase for an actual proverb. As when we suggest someone gives 110% , a request which is impossible but attempts to suggest that we might be holding back on a full effort. One phrase in particular appears to have developed into an actual business belief in the impossible – “do more with less”. While the origin of this little gem is probably unknown, one could guess that it came as an answer to slashed resources without a corresponding reduction in goals. It's easy to imagine that it was accompanied with either an implicit or perhaps explicit threat of “if you can’t get it done with what I’ve provided then I’ll find someone who can.”
In general, the law, with additional support from case laws, provides employers with certain privilege in discussing “business matters” even the dishonest kind with employees. So if an employee is seen or suspected of violating policy, stealing, or may have information pertaining to a loss, it is within our “right” to have a discussion. Such matters, handled properly and professionally are fine, but…and this is a big But…there are many opportunities along the way to step off that narrow path and create company liability.
The potential for civil or even criminal suits (like false imprisonment) are great enough to leave no room for “winging” an internal investigation. And some of the biggest missteps are those that are easiest enough to avoid.
Take a Deep Breath
Seasoned investigators don’t get emotional over internal theft. Yes, we have a passion to resolve and prevent it, but we don’t take dishonesty personally. An investigation is like any other business endeavor—it’s a process. Often, the greatest harm is done by an inexperienced manager or employee who brings emotion…hurt, anger, righteousness…to the discussion.
Probably—and I say that with all due respect to your efforts. Humans are specialists by nature. That is we tend to gravitate towards the things we know, the things we like, and the things that we are good at. Past experiences also lend a hand in defining the focus of our attention. Complete objectivity is difficult and while we shouldn’t advocate “doing things just to do them,” when it comes to loss prevention striking the proper balance is critical to success.
Until recently I didn’t give much thought to the topic of “active shooter.” In truth, the idea of a lengthy conversation seemed unnecessary. It appeared an investment in a discussion that pertained to a rare occurrence in a retail environment.That is not to say that it isn’t important to ensure the safety of employees. Active Shootings, while tragic, don’t seem to have a preventable solution. And my belief was that training should mostly rely on common sense. In the event of a shooting, employees should run and or hide. My ideas on the topic changed, however, after I attended a training seminar at the New England Organized Retail Crime Symposium, presented by the various retail associations of the New England states.
Article: ORC symposium Wrap up!
“Back in the day” I was standing in a Marshalls store watching the installation of an EAS system. I remember the excitement and the potential it represented. Finally, a device that could watch shoplifters since we couldn’t watch them all. It was a game changer and within the first few weeks we were racking up the apprehensions—kids, moms, doctors. The missing link appeared shortly after with the arrival of the “soft” tag. Now everything and anything could be tagged and protected. It was a great mouse trap…until the mice got smarter.Read More
Today’s retail environment is arguably one of the most turbulent and competitive in recent history. Business survival is dependent on the leadership’s ability to rapidly gain knowledge and make immediate strategic decisions for the organization. Intuitive leadership is being replaced by analytical software that allows the organization to see their issues, develop initiatives, change behavior and make progress scalable.
Over a decade ago, my sons moved to Florida with their mom and lived in one of those gated communities that the area is famous for. The first time I went to visit them, I found myself parked in front of eight-foot gate, staring at a keypad. I called their house and the gate swung open. Later, my twelve-year-old said, “Dad you don’t need to call just use the code—01572.Read More
As humans, we were born selfish. Our instinctual need to be the most important part of our own universe runs through all our veins, and rightfully so. Without “me” being the top priority in everything we do every single day, we would never survive. So, it should come as no surprise that our own life issues are carried with us at the top of our minds, everywhere we go- including work.Read More