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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have the respect and cooperation of their sales/operations partners. Training and awareness programs that emphasize the role of reducing losses as part of successful sales and profit enhancement models have widely been seen as an important part of a robust loss prevention program. While these results would indicate that respondents believe that respect and cooperation are at strong levels of support, results would further suggest that greater emphasis on shrink management and the value of these programs within our sales and operations teams would appear to be an area of opportunity. In other words, while respondents believe there is a willingness to partner and learn, the level of understanding isn't where it needs to be amongst our sales/operations peers. Leadership and Communication One of the most critical aspects of determining whether or not loss prevention professionals at every level of leadership are on the same page is through our ability to effectively communicate our mission, vision, and culture throughout all levels of the organization. Even when we agree on the fundamental concepts of loss prevention as a profession or the retail business in general, without the ability to effectively communicate our message or channel our ideas and opinions, we will continue to face challenges moving forward. Q Perhaps not surprisingly, loss prevention leadership was much more likely to believe that they do an effective job of communicating the goals, mission, and other critical objectives of the department to the loss prevention team in the field. However, while 83 percent of department leaders feel they do an effective job, only 65 percent of those in the field believe the goals, mission, and objectives are effectively communicated. Q Generally speaking, the results were very similar when respondents were asked if loss prevention leadership has a firm grasp on the way that LP policies and procedures are actually carried out in the field and in the stores. While 80 percent of department leaders feel they have a firm grasp on the way that policies and procedures are carried out, only 63 percent of those in the field believe this to be the case. Q Survey participants are also less likely to believe that their supervisors are open to new and creative ideas from members of the loss prevention team. While 84 percent of department leaders state that they are open to new and creative ideas from members of the loss prevention team, only 67 percent of those in the field believe this to be the case. Q While 83 percent of department leaders state that they agree with the goals, mission, and approach that their company holds with respect to loss prevention, only 69 percent of those in the field agree. It's not uncommon for senior leadership to have slightly different opinions based on their experience and unique exposure and perspective to all areas of the business. There are many different factors that come into play, many different responsibilities that are faced, and a litany of considerations that most in the field will fail to fully appreciate or understand. Unfortunately, this does appear to be an ongoing area of opportunity. However, this is a shared responsibility across all levels of leadership. There are areas that can be improved upon—both at the corporate level and in the field—that can help bridge some of these gaps. General Loss Prevention Where do we stand on many of the more fundamental concepts of loss prevention? Where do survey respondents believe we have the greatest opportunities for improvement? How closely aligned are we with these concepts across the various levels of loss prevention leadership? Let's take a closer look. Q Overall, survey participants rate importance of having a strong and successful background in interviewing as a loss prevention professional as 8.3 out of 10. This remains in concert with their views regarding the role that internal theft plays in the overall shrink performance of their company as a 7.4 out of 10. These ratings were consistent across all levels of leadership. Q Participants also view the importance of the audit function and strong operational controls as an important function in the overall shrink performance of their company, rating this as a 7.7 out of 10. This ranking was consistent across all levels of leadership. Q Survey participants ranked the role of shoplifting as 7.4 out of 10 in the overall shrink performance of the company and the ability to identify and apprehend shoplifters as a 6.7 out of 10 for loss prevention professionals. These numbers were fairly consistent, although not surprisingly, that role was seen as slightly more important at the lower levels of loss prevention leadership. Q However, when asked whether retailers should put less emphasis on apprehending shoplifters and more emphasis on deterring theft in the stores, agreement amongst survey participants varied considerably by level of leadership. Eighty-four percent of top loss prevention leadership were in agreement, while less than 50 percent of those in store-level positions were in agreement. Very few believe that loss THE NEW GENERATION OF LOSS PREVENTION Vice President/ Director, Corporate LP or equivalent Everyone Else 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% I feel that loss prevention leadership at my company does an effective job of communicating the goals, missions, and other critical objectives of the department to the loss prevention team in the …eld. 48 MAY–JUNE 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM continued from page 47

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