Now that we have recovered from the Holidays and struggle to cling to our New Year’s resolutions, it’s the perfect time to start thinking of loss prevention spring cleaning. Using the “quieter times” during the retail calendar as an opportunity to clean up, review and refresh your existing initiatives as well as implement some new programs.
There are the issues we inherently deal with following the Holiday season; such as preparation for year-end inventories and subsequent shrink calculations. And for as long as I have been a loss prevention professional, I’ve dealt with the post-holiday dishonesty incidents caused by associates who’ve overextended their Holiday purchasing and resort to stealing to pay off debt.
This time of the year is a great time to get into your stores and revitalize your lp program with store associates; kind of a spring cleaning of your loss prevention program, preparing for the year ahead.
Has your company transitioned temporary, seasonal associates into permanent associates? If so, now is the time to make sure they receive the loss prevention training equivalent to all other permanent associates. Too often, although we try, temporary associates do not receive adequate training and education. Following up on their training will help ensure you have a solid member on your team. Obtain a list of temporary to permanent associates from Human Resources, in order to follow up on new hire training.
Are you planning on initiating any new loss prevention programs this year? Talk to store associates about planned programs and/or initiatives to obtain their feedback and insight on how best to introduce the program to retail locations. Use your associates as a “focus group” and the discussions as a pre-launch “marketing campaign.”
As part of your New Year loss prevention strategy you have most likely reviewed last year’s results to determine the level of achievement of goals and objectives. Make a point to discuss these results with store associates; use them to reinforce some key elements of your program. Two great examples are your loss prevention awareness program and your employee tip-line (confidential employee reporting line). Reinforcing how these resources should be used and asking associates about how they view them can guide you in making any changes early in the year; enhancing year-end results.
Getting into your retail locations and engaging in conversations with associates can provide vital information for increasing the success of your loss prevention program. Take advantage of this time of the year; use it to your benefit. The overall benefit will be apparent in improved shrink results and better relationships with store associates.
Written by Michael Hofstetter, CFI, National Client Services Manager