When it comes to protecting your business against loss there are areas that you want to have written, read and acknowledged policies by all employees. The lack of such policies can hurt you in the event a particular situation does occur.
Over recent years, there have been legal court case decisions where loss prevention incidents not handled appropriately have cost businesses tens of thousands of dollars paid out to shoplifters, dishonest employees and others. Although these individuals may have committed a crime against a business, lacking policies or compliance to such policies was often the basis of the courts decisions.
The following is not an all inclusive list of policies and procedures, but rather those that should be part of a retail business (any segment including food serving industries).
We recommend the following when you develop policies and procedures that involve actions against your employees.
- Consult with your human resources or legal support to ensure that policies and procedures are written appropriately for your business.
- Each year have employees review and re-acknowledge your policies and procedures.
Code of Conduct: This policy should simply state that the company does not condone acts of theft or dishonesty, how these acts will be handled and the ramifications of such actions (prosecution, termination, restitution, etc.). A code of conduct should also include the duty of an employee to report theft incidents or suspected theft situations and that such reporting can be done so anonymously (do you have a tip-line?) and confidentially, without any retribution toward the reporting employee.
Shoplifting Apprehension Policy: This policy should include the companys steps on how to detect, handle and resolve a shoplifting situation. Within this policy is most often found the Steps of Shoplifting Detection, how to handle a known shoplifting situation and most importantly, what not to do (such as run after a shoplifter) when trying to resolve a shoplifting situation. Retailers have lost millions of dollars due to wrongful apprehensions, injuries and even deaths of employees, suspected shoplifters and bystanders Dont let the possible loss of merchandise cost you greatly.
Robbery Procedures: A robbery is a very unfortunate and sometimes dangerous situation. The best way of handling a robbery is for an employee to understand how they should act to get through the event without issue. Written policy and procedures on how to act or not act, along with proper awareness can be the difference of a robbery becoming a very serious and unfortunate event.
Employee Discount or Meal Policy: If you offer your employees any discounts in merchandise or free food, you want a written policy. This policy should clearly detail the discounts breaks, approved recipients of such discounts (immediate family, spouse, etc.) and any situations that the discount is not allowed (i.e. sale merchandise, gift cards, etc). Included in this policy should be the ramifications and outcomes of violating this policy.
Still not sure what you need to develop loss prevention policies and procedures? Our LPinaBox Awareness Program has the materials you need to help you understand the concepts of loss prevention. Check it out at www.lpinabox.com.