As a retail business owner, you keep track and are aware of the items in your building and their values. Instinctively, you secure your building. You do your homework and research available options for security companies, video surveillance, sensor tags, and more. But integrating security in your daily operations and with your team is just as important as having the technology you need.
One of the most important pieces to your security plan is having an engaged team who is genuinely supportive of their part in the security plan. If you have a number of employees, they may not have equal roles in the security of your store, but they all have important roles. For example, an employee who works on the sales floor will have a different role in the security plan than an employee who works at the cash register or in the stock room. If you have an employee who works in multiple roles, they need to understand the security risks that each role entails and why it is important. Making this consideration a part of your hiring process is ideal, because it helps ensure security is a part of your store culture.
A key mistake to avoid, as identified by Carol Martinson, VP of Asset Protection for Supervalu Inc., who spoke at the 2016 National Retail Federation Loss Prevention Conference, is failing to conduct thorough pre-employment background checks. Other mistakes identified in her presentation included not confronting a problem behavior right away, not completing a thorough investigation when something does happen, and the assumption that once law enforcement is involved you’re no longer responsible. She talked about violence prevention, which is itself a security issue. It is important that people pay attention to and recognize warning signs, and report those warning signs to the proper authorities, either within the business or the police. Finally, Carol talked about how there needs to be an appropriate and decisive response to the warning signs or intelligence received.
Talking about security and violence prevention with your team is very important and should be a part of how you operate—so you can continue to operate.