Like a baseball team that is getting ready for a long grueling season, your loss prevention program depends on spring training to lay the foundation for discipline and to focus your approach by not letting complacency dictate results. The complacent teams are the ones we will see at the bottom of the standings by mid-year, much like what happens in retail.
Well, Spring is here and for me it means gladly giving up basketball as there is nothing like a good afternoon of baseball. Perhaps for you it is hitting the golf course because this year you are going to be “on your game”(Even Tiger Woods has won again). And then there is annual spring cleaning which we can’t escape. If your house is anything like mine, my better half has created a to do list for our annual “spring cleaning” event. Yes, in my house it is “an event” and a lot of negotiating is involved. Exactly what will I do with that old deer lamp she has always wanted to get rid of?Spring Training and Your Program
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So hopefully by now you have implemented new and innovative strategies designed to reduce loss, raise awareness and increase profitability. Whether it was revamping your audit program, awareness campaign or just fine tuning your current program, now is the perfect time to evaluate their impact. Your focus should now be on the execution of your program and relying on your metrics to determine your program’s effectiveness. Complacency is so often the reason a program stalls and does not reach its full potential.
Lack of Effort Will Get You Benched
Have you examined poor performing stores and taken a closer look at who is running the business? Is it time for a change? Much like baseball players affect the success of the team, your success is in the hands of those who can make the biggest impact on sales and loss; your employees. In baseball, there aren’t too many players with .150 averages who are around by midseason. In retail, we don’t have the luxury of waiting until next season as profitably is on the line.
Has your organization allowed employees to become complacent, allowing poor performance to thrive, until the point that the entire store takes on this culture of complacency and just accepts that finishing near the bottom every year is good enough?
Set Your Spring Cleaning Goals
By no means am I suggesting we terminate employment without cause. However, if associates are not performing, they should be held accountable. Some things to consider in evaluating performance are:
Have performance expectations been clearly defined and communicated?
Have you developed and implemented metrics that measure key performance areas?
Do you have a practice in place to address and document performance issues?
Have management and employees been issued a shrink or sales improvement plan?
Cleaning Your “House” Can Make a Difference
There is still time; the remainder of the year, to drive your strategy. Now is the perfect time to tie up those loose ends and ensure your organization is more efficient at all levels; not allowing complacency to dictate results.
Now that I think about it, I think it’s time to throw away that deer lamp; after all it doesn’t even work!Written by Bill Angiolillo, CFI
Director of Client Services