LP Magazine

MAR-APR 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

Issue link: http://digital.lpportal.com/i/1096225

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Page 22 of 76

so does luck, a good benefits package, and patience. He noted it once took eighteen months to find the right fit for regional security manager position in UK. "Not every country is as mature in the LP world as the US, and so sometimes very few people have the experience you'd want," explained McBride. And often, he says, they know it. That can put pressure on budgets and make top talent prime targets for poaching by other retailers. "We've paid when we've needed to, and we've also, in places, been able to grow our own talent internally," said McBride. "By finding people with a propensity for LP among store operations and spending time with them, giving them special projects, and then being sure to interview them when we have an opening." He said that model has served them well in Mexico, where one LP leader is a former store manager. "She didn't have an LP background, but we taught her that, and we're able to leverage her other skills and things she does really well for LP." Maples echoed the necessity of growing talent in less-mature LP environments. "In some countries LP is still very young, and there are not a lot of professionals who are well trained. You need to have a talent strategy and to invest in people to grow them," she said. When getting started in a country, Maples said she has turned successfully to her network of global crisis management advisors for help. "Going on people's reputation and recommendations is much better than strictly cold calling in a country, so developing that network of people, which can include other retailers, is really important to create a team that can deliver a quality program." Although competition for talent is unavoidable, Maples said it's important to be respectful of talent at other retailers, and to not use one's position in a market to pick over talent at those who are still trying to build a program. Because finding talent is difficult, retaining strong performers internationally takes on added significance, said Maples. Their success was hard-fought, she said, but came eventually with the help of a strong retention strategy. "You have to create a reason why people will stay for four to five years and to let them grow a career and reputation," she said. It's indicative of just how hard LP talent wars are fought internationally that Maples counts her ability to exceed average retention times as among her top successes. In Asia, where two-year tenures are commonplace, LP turnover at Gap is significantly better than average, including a majority of staff that has been there longer than the norm for the region. "It's been helped by the fact that we have developed a succession path for people that lets them grow," said Maples. "I'm proud of the fact that we went into Asia with very entry-level positions, and we've been able to grow those people into more senior leadership roles." Additionally, when senior leaders leave—as people eventually do—the LP team has been able to include them within their regional networks that it relies upon to be effective. "We've been able to keep people for well beyond the traditionally normal time period, and then we've kept strong, healthy relationships with them," said Maples. Brand Protection A company's brand—as a percentage of its market value—continues to grow; and, unlike other threats, risks to company reputation is not something it can insure against. And, as difficult as protecting a company's image is domestically, it becomes even more challenging when trying to do so in far-flung places on the globe. Consistency is a critical aspect of maintaining a retailer's image, but even brand protection may need to bend to local customs. Tiffany & Co. relies heavily on its luxury image, for example, but exactly what "luxury" is varies around the world, so LP operations adjust accordingly, according to Siemers. "We work with our management team and marketing so that we're supporting them in delivering the experience that customers want and what is expected in that luxury environment," he said. In Europe, for example, that means security officers greet customers as they enter, something they don't do in Japan. Such differences are detailed in security training videos that Tiffany & Co.'s security team specifically tailors for different parts of the world. That way, contract security officers in Tiffany & Co. stores have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, said Siemers. Maples observes a similar imperative with respect to company values. "Integrity, open-door, zero discrimination, those are values we consistently message all around the world," said Maples, noting the importance of working with company legal teams and human resources in that effort. "In leadership forums for new leaders we say, 'This is what we believe in, and this is how we present ourselves in our market,' but we also make it digestible for the local audience. Our values translate all around the world, but some matters of execution might be different in some environments." More retailers may need to address such travel safety issues, suggests data from Business Resilience Trends Watch 2019, a survey by International SOS and Ipsos MORI. It found that only 27 percent of business travel risk programs include considerations specific to female travelers. Only 17 percent of travel risk programs cover LGBTQ considerations. continued from page 21 continued on page 24 22 MARCH–APRIL 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

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