Recently, yet another loss prevention colleague of mine lost his job when his position was eliminated. This is an all too common occurrence in today’s economy, especially within the retail industry. This colleague’s position was eliminated based on a budgetary decision; another commonality in a fiercely competitive global marketplace that forces companies to scrutinize operations and maximize every operating dollar. Gone are the days of the option to remain with one company for an entire career. Organizations constantly make decisions in order to advance the business as a whole. When those decisions affect an individual personally it is natural to ask “why me?”
My initial reaction to this position elimination was “once again it is an attack on the Loss Prevention component of the business”. Often misunderstood and underappreciated, the LP department always seems to be the first cut with the budget knife when times are tough. However after giving it more thought, I realized it was not an attack on the LP function because they were not eliminating the loss prevention initiatives, just the individual running the department.
In this situation my colleague was asked to stay on for several weeks after he was notified of his dismissal. He was asked to assist his supervisors in understanding exactly what he did. Initially this seemed to be a reasonable request as they need the details of his current initiatives in order to continue the loss prevention program. However, why were they not aware of those initiatives?
The company was simply forced to make tough decisions and determine which positions could be eliminated. The company wasn’t saying they didn’t see the value in loss prevention, rather, they didn’t know the value my colleague provided.
I offer this story as a subtle warning regarding the importance of showing the value of everything you do to support your organization. Loss prevention is a results oriented support department that cannot withstand complacency or staleness in a program. Whether you are a proprietary LP professional or an outside service provider, you must continually present your value. Simply put, if those who ultimately determine your fate are not aware of your value, you could be at risk when budget cuts are necessary.
How do you show your value? Ask yourself the following:
- Aside from your direct supervisor or client contact, does anyone else in the organization know what you do for them, aside from the day to day tasks and duties; do they know how you help them succeed?
- Do the decisions makers, and those that influence the decision makers, know how your efforts impact their success?
- When was the last time you made contact or developed a connection with someone outside of the scope of what you do simply to market yourself and show your value?
Regardless of your role within your organization, or the services you provide, you must always ensure you exceed the expectation. This will demonstrate your value. Today job security is achieved by exceeding expectations. Show your value!
Written by Michael Hofstetter, CFI, National Client Services Manager