In our daily lives we possess the instinct of self-preservation and survival. We are inherently aware of our surroundings, lock our doors at night or when we leave the house and look over our shoulders for signs of danger. We know to park our vehicles in brightly lit areas to protect ourselves and our possessions. We choose where we live, work and play and with whom by considering our options and analyzing the benefits or detriment that each option offers.
A workplace is a microcosm of society as a whole with the same prevalence of thefts, drug use, violence, prejudices and motivations.
Corporate Loss Prevention is essentially applying these same protective strategies to the workplace to mitigate losses to your bottom line whether they be from employee theft, loss of time, customer confidence, safety concerns, etc…. they all cost you in the end.
Like the basic components of communication – the vowels a-e-i-o-u – the fundamentals of Loss Prevention can be broken down into a simple and clear plan of action. A good and comprehensive program needs the following components to work simultaneously:
A: Awareness: identifying your risks and communicating action plans to reduce those risks; education programs to provide a skill set to employees to allow them to take an active role in resolution; current trends, what to watch for and what employees can do about it; preventative measures; feedback to illustrate how employees’ actions are contributing to the problem and/or the solution; auditing to identify areas of weakness and achieve a minimum acceptable standard of compliance
E: Enforcement: of all rules, physical security, policies, procedures and laws consistently
I: Investigation: evidence that the company is responsive to issues and will address any malfeasance to the full extent of its abilities. The end result is not only the removal of the root cause of the issue, but it also provides a road map to provide proactive measures in preventing a reoccurrence. Just as importantly, a successfully executed investigation will provide a strong deterrent to others in the workplace.
O: Ownership: empowerment; accountability; encourage a “do the right thing” approach while eliminating a “not my problem” mentality
U: Unity: team cohesiveness; aligned objectives; working towards a common goal; shared vision; a desire to “weed out” bad apples
And most importantly…
You: involvement; empowerment; the desire to do the right thing