LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 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.

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TOOLS AND TRAINING HELP LP TEAMS PUNCH BACK AGAINST VIOLENCE Retailers run significant risk if they fail to extend training to store personnel, warned McGhee. "In the case of a real incident, there are going to be lawsuits. They'll be looking at what your policies are, how current they are, and what training and education you have," he said. "Policies are important, but you need to show the flow of information to the entire workforce. There is liability if you have policies but don't exercise them through training." The topic takes on additional importance in the wake of a recent Seventh Circuit court decision. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had brought a case against Costco Wholesale on behalf of a Costco employee who alleged she was harassed for over a year by a Costco customer. Late last year, the appeals court upheld the verdict against Costco for allowing a hostile work environment, including a $250,000 award to the plaintiff (EEOC v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Nos. 17-2432 & 17-2454, 7th Cir., Sept. 10, 2018). The lesson? Customer-facing businesses must be aware that customer harassment can, in some circumstances, give rise to a claim of a hostile work environment, noted a client brief about the case by law firm Nixon Peabody. Finally, experts note that training aimed at enhancing employee safety, in order to maintain vitality and align with risk, can't be static. For example, American Eagle has long been a leader in providing travel safety instruction and information to employees, with hundreds of AE employees logging 2,500 international trips annually, according to Scott McBride, vice president of global LP, safety, and security. If the security team feels it is lacking information about a specific region, as well as on a random and periodic basis, AE security staff will debrief employees returning from trips to better inform their future instruction. "We will ask about what they saw, if they experienced any issues. In about one out of every twenty-five trips, we will do a debrief," said McBride. Skills Workplace violence prevention training was a significant theme at the ISC West security conference in April. One warning issued during several education presentations was to recognize that managing an angry customer requires specific skills and techniques. It is, perhaps, an ability that seems should come naturally. But, for most people, it doesn't. "People don't know how to talk to people, and it's not just a matter of telling people to listen. There are specific techniques to it and tools you need to give them," advised Ben Scaglione, senior consultant at DVS Scott McBride Ben Scaglione 19 LP MAGAZINE | MAY–JUNE 2019

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