Holiday Security for Jewelry Businesses: Webinar Recap
A lapse in security at any point during the year creates unnecessary risk for your jewelry business. Given the impact holiday shopping has on your year-end results, weaknesses in your security program become even more dangerous.
That's why David Sexton, vice president of loss prevention at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, covered four areas jewelers need to focus on in the webinar Holiday Security for Jewelry Businesses.
These topics include:
- Hiring — why it's important to screen, interview, and select applicants to find the best candidate and avoid potential lawsuits
- Staff education — the importance of sharing procedural security advice that everyone needs to know
- Internal theft — how to prevent it and mitigate your liability if a situation occurs
- Security — reviewing elements of your physical and electronic security, such as: safes, showcases, guards, access control systems, surveillance cameras, and alarms
Each of these areas deserves attention, as crimes and other losses typically happen in situations where jewelers are not well prepared to respond to an incident.
Here's an overview of each area of security for jewelry businesses during the holidays:
The more time you have, the better. In any case, it's normally a wise decision to use a staffing agency to help you with the process — especially if it's late October and you need staffing help ASAP.
Using an agency will allow for consistent and complete interviewing procedures and also helps document the applicants and the decision making processes for selecting the best talent.
Accomplishing that on your own wouldn't just be complex and time-consuming, but there are also certain pre-employment screening practices your general counsel or an agency might advise against in order to avoid a potential employment practices lawsuit.
Once you've found the right candidate, it's crucial that you clearly address expectation upon hiring.
- What are the expectations of the position?
- What is the culture of your workplace?
Making a great hire can help your sales, as well as prevent the possibility of internal theft, which is covered in depth below.
Security for jewelry businesses depends on the awareness and adherence to best practices by all employees and is not limited to new hires.
Once you have your team together for the holidays, you need to educate them on these best practices. A way to do that efficiently and effectively is by enrolling them in JM University® — an exclusive member benefit to JM policyholders.
At a high level, these are three takeaways your staff should learn:
- How to prevent all different types of theft
- Red flags for check and credit card fraud
- What to do during a robbery
When it comes to security for jewelry businesses, internal theft can be a topic that gets overlooked. If it's not completely on your radar, consider that if an employee (or group of employees) is stealing from your business and their actions aren't addressed, it could amount to a loss that's larger in value than other types of crime.
The number one way to keep internal theft at bay is to build a quality culture. This goes back to making the most our of your hiring process so you have a team of honest and trustworthy people that fit your business. To keep your culture strong, you should also make your staff feel valued and show appreciation for them when things get exceptionally busy.
As a business owner or manager, you also need to do your due diligence and stay alert to inventory and cash flow. Despite your best culture-building efforts, temptation can sometimes be too hard to resist. Keep in mind that internal theft extends to instances like:
- an employee discount given to a friend or family member, or
- instances where an employee is stealing time by not accounting for their hours properly.
Having documented policies and procedures in place to review potential internal thefts before confronting an employee is critical. If you make a disciplinary or termination decision and an employee believes they were wrongly accused or mistreated, you could open up the possibility of another type of employee practice lawsuit.
Physical and electronic security are expansive topics. In fact, we've done webinars specifically focused on upgrading and optimizing security features every jewelry business should consider.
Given that security upgrades are probably not financially feasible or timely right before the holidays, you can still make the most of these features:
- Alarms — Simply contact your alarm provider and verify that the alarm's communication path is supervised and that you understand the level of burglar alarm protection that you're paying for. It may basic, but it's arguably the most important action you can take when it comes to your security features during the holiday season.
- Guards — Unlike other security features, obtaining a security guard service if you don't have one already isn't that difficult. The important thing for you to remember is that armed, uniformed, and active off-duty police officers provide the highest level of protection.
- Surveillance systems — Double check to make sure your system is functioning as expected. This includes ensuring that all areas of your business have some degree of surveillance and that you have enough storage to capture new footage.
It's also worthwhile reviewing the procedures surrounding these security features:
- Safes — An Underwriter's Laboratories-listed safe of TRTL-15X6 or higher is preferred, but because your safe is the last bastion of protection from a burglary, it's worth checking that your safe is wired into your alarm system and protected by line security, regardless of its UL-rating.
- Showcases — Even if you don't have burglary-resistant glazing material to help limit the impact of a smash-and-grab robbery, it's still important for your staff to know proper key control procedures to prevent sneak thefts.
- Access control systems — If your business has a door buzzer or mantrap to control the flow of customers, make sure everyone at your business knows how to use if properly.
Watch a recording of the webinar
Get all of David's insights from Holiday Security for Jewelry Businesses by logging into JM University.
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- Educate your staff on how to sell with security
- Prepare to avoid danger while traveling with lines of jewelry
- Get insights on physical and electronic security recommendations