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 diners (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.
You and your peers are going on vacation - is your loss program program going with you?
It’s unfortunate that often when key players and decision makers take the well-earned time off, some of the advances fought so hard for in the first few months slip back. It can be difficult to make any advances as we try to coordinate vacation schedules amongst the regular required duties and responsibilities. And we may not be the only ones going out. Location managers who have worked hard and delayed time off to get through the first part of the year are eager for the small window of opportunity before the autumn arrives and brings with it the holiday season.
Is there any way to avoid the small backslide of summer?
Well you could collect the personal home number of your partners and call them while they are on vacation. Or maybe just take a quick ride over to their house. Or perhaps show up on their vacations just to ask a few questions. Of course that will definitely affect your popularity and might also result in a restraining order.
The better solution is to have a “Summer Plan.” The plan should be simple, direct and with a goal to advance or at least hold the line on your loss prevention efforts. Here’s one outline that may be helpful:
1. Create a list of the two or three most important objects to achieve in the summer months - keep them simple and easy to execute.
2. Use the summer to improve analysis of data or as time to analyze and review results.
3. Make sure there is a list of alternative contacts and source of communication to cover vacations.
4. Schedule important loss prevention meetings and discussions towards the end of August - just after vacations and just before the “back to school” preparations.
5. Institute some form of small “self-audit” activities for the field locations. Include the major things that could indicate larger issues, like cash losses, safety issues, and shifts in things like margin, inventory levels or waste and damages.
6. Employ the use of small and direct awareness messages through payroll stuffers or company newsletters or portals.
7. Pre- plan how to “jump start” the LP program as we enter the final four months of the year.
The truth is that vacations will have an impact on some of our programs. People tend to be a little distracted the week before and the week after their time-off. With a little advance planning and communication however, you can keep your program top of mind and not lose any of the ground you gained. Vacations are important to everyone’s mental health - we just need to ensure we don’t take our loss prevention programs with us.