By Luis Orbegoso
Whether adding more youth staff for the summer or planning holiday workers for the Christmas shopping rush, managing the need for seasonal support is an important part of any business plan. However, finding qualified staff isn’t the only challenge to keep in mind.
With college and high school students flooding the seasonal job market, and over 700,000 season retail positions to fill in the holidays, business owners need to be sure new employees join seamlessly into their organization. From company logistics to anti-theft practices, there are a number of technologies to manage a smooth transition as your staff grows.
Discourage Employee-Led Loss
While the interview process can tell you much about the nature and experience of the people you’re hiring, even the best employees can lead to profit loss, either directly or indirectly. A study from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated the average loss for a small business from just employee theft and fraud was $160,000.
One of the best ways to discourage employee theft is education. By showing all employees the programs you have in place against shoplifting, they will be less inclined to make an attempt. Ensuring and showcasing that video monitoring covers both customer-facing and employee-facing spaces will enforce a business owner is aware of not only external threats, but internal risks as well.
Beyond education, be sure to utilize your non-seasonal employees. As they will already be taking on a role of mentorship and training, these established team members can show new hires the ropes and call out practices to avoid. For example, a major area for potential loss across industries is “sweethearting,” the act of employees giving away or deeply discounting merchandise for friends or family. Video monitoring the point of sale can alert you to aberrations in behavior like unwanted discounting or giveaways. By ensuring your staff knows that you actively track, discourage and punish the activity, new and seasonal hires will immediately learn to avoid this behavior as part of their normal onboarding.
Keeping the Lights On and the Doors Locked
Theft is not just about the items on your shelves or the money in the register. One of the most common and hardest to detect forms of theft is time. Whether you have an employee who is perpetually late to open your establishment, or someone who closes shop early because they can’t wait to get home, cutting these corners may mean value lost to your business. Tracking this issue is even more difficult when you are managing multiple locations or spend significant time away from your business site.
Mobile security technology now allows you to oversee your business, even when you aren’t onsite. From video monitoring to automated alarm alerts, your mobile-enabled device is now able to tell you exactly all the pertinent details of your operation. For example, if an employee or manager happens to forget their key or drive off before arming your security system, you can correct the issue quickly from your phone. Applications like ADT Pulse allow you to control everything from locks and alarms, to temperature controls for multiple locations.
For a more hands-on touch, never underestimate the power of the occasional, unannounced drop-in when an establishment is opening or closing shop for the day. A physical presence and cameras combined can be a powerful message.
Developing trust can be a long process, and when time is short, technology is there to support the transition. As teams change over and employees come and go, having a consistent and visible security strategy can add the consistency a business needs to never skip a beat.
Luis Orbegoso is president of ADT Business, responsible for developing and executing the company’s strategy to grow the security and automation segment serving small- and mid-sized business owners. He joined ADT in May 2013 from United Technologies Corporation (UTC) Climate, Controls & Security, where he served as president of the global fire detection and alarm segment. Prior to joining UTC, Orbegoso spent 13 years with General Electric in a variety of sales, marketing and general management roles.