How to Train Employees to Be Loss Prevention Advocates

Loss prevention is a constant source of worry in the retail space – and therefore an incredible place to
innovate. The strategies that have long been associated with this department have grown a bit stagnant,
and it’s high time that grocers took a good hard look at their loss prevention mindset.

One strategy that we have seen work in the grocery space is training employees to be loss prevention
advocates. Instead of drilling mindless processes and fear tactics into employees in order to get them to
prevent theft and fraud, companies should place trust and responsibility in their employees to see real
results – and a happier team.

How to Train Employees to Be Loss Prevention Advocates

There are a few quick concepts that you can integrate into your traditional corporate training and
continuing education in order to turn employees into loss prevention advocates.

Teach employees to talk to people like they’re people

Sounds obvious, but the way that we teach employees to interact with customers (if we do at all) tends
to be very corporate and canned. In a way, it makes sense – we don’t want to put our businesses in
harm by letting employees respond in any way that they see fit – but, if we give our team the correct
resources and trust, we can create a culture of loss prevention advocates.

You see, loss prevention can be accomplished if customers feel that they like and trust your employees.
When employees speak to them in a way that is human and helpful, they create a connection with your
customers that will deter those with sticky fingers from following through with their intended action. No
need for forced language or uncomfortable procedures if your employees build a relationship with your
customers.

Explain the “why” behind your strategies

Employees need to buy into your loss prevention goals and strategies in order for them to work. For the
best results from this perspective, you need to make them feel purposeful. Explain why certain loss
prevention tactics work and others don’t, how small changes to their routine in your store could have a
major impact on LP, and how a comprehensive loss prevention plan can actually give your customers a
better experience. If you can tie a “why” to each of their responsibilities, you’ll find that there will be
less resistance to your LP strategies.

Discuss dollars and KPIs

Adding on to the previous point, employees like to feel like they’re a part of the larger company goal
and mission. They want to feel like the work they’re doing every day matters. Once you’ve explained the
“why” behind their responsibilities, get into the cold hard facts.

“We lose $XS,XXX dollars per month to loss. When we are completing every step of our loss prevention
plan, that number decreases to $X,XXX.”

“Our goal is to reduce theft by XX% in Q2. Here are the steps that our team is taking to make that
happen.”

Keep track of those KPIs in your team break room, and reward team members who become loss
prevention advocates and make a significant impact on your goals.

Reframe loss prevention as asset protection

Finally, do away with the phrase “loss prevention” all together. If you really want your team to get on
board, spinning this set of responsibilities in a positive light (protecting your store instead of preventing
something bad from happening) will take the fear and pressure out of it for your employees.