Great Solutions for the Small Retailer

Increase Employee Awareness with Posters

Today's Retail Action Article   March 11th, 2008

Increase Employee Awareness with Posters

Sometimes it's difficult to get a message across to employees across a chain of stores.
Even harder than that, it can be a real challenge maintaining their awareness throughout
the season when they are overwhelmed with hundreds of new messages, instructions and information.

Some years ago, when I was faced with maintaining awareness towards Loss Prevention
in a chain that had suffered high shrink figures, simple posters became an effective solution.
We made up black and white posters in simple 11 by 17 inch format on our own computer printer and Microsoft Word.  To make them interesting, we used public domain pictures
that supported our message and added a poster monthly to the back common area of the stores.

Instead of talking Loss Prevention for the first two weeks after a dismal shrink result, we
kept the message strong and fresh in the minds of the employees through these posters. We also reinforced the message of Loss Prevention Awareness by giving them a fresh new poster every
month with some aspect of the Loss Prevention Program for them to think about.

Our "spokesperson" in the posters was the late great Humphrey Bogart. His aura as well as his
flair as a private investigator made him a good fit for our Loss Prevention Program and pictures
of him that were not protected by copyright were easy to find.

Each monthly poster also had a space where the manager entered the last shrink result for
their store and would review this month's Loss Prevention Message with the staff upon receipt
of the poster. Monthly messages included a focus on cash desk fraud, shipping errors, external theft, proper use of an Electronic Article Surveillance system and so forth. In twelve monthly posters we covered every major shrink issue that staff should be aware of and maintain vigilance against.

The result from this inexpensive strategy was a very high level of participation in Loss Prevention and a 50% reduction in shrink to acceptable levels by the next stocktaking. When staff were asked about their current shrink result and what Loss Prevention Issue was depicted in the current poster, staff awareness was virtually 100%. Prior to that, staff forgot after less than a month what their shrink was at the last stocktaking. The posters turned all that around.

The simple yet effective poster idea can be used to address many different issues in a store
chain for very little cost. Posters can be used to focus employee awareness on key issues like:

  •             Improving awareness and efforts to increase the average sale amount
  •             Increasing awareness on traffic conversion rates
  •             Increasing awareness to sell higher ticket items with better margins

Issues you address with the poster program can involve sales, loss prevention, administration or other profit based issues that need a higher level of employee awareness and action.


Take Action Today

  • Examine your stores and determine key issues that require an increase in employee awareness
  • Develop your poster program around a "spokesperson" that employees can relate to, within the public domain
  • Design twelve monthly posters, with a fresh message for the sales associates
  • If the issue can be quantified by store, provide a space where the manager can write in the store's current result that staff can improve upon
  • Frequently quiz staff about current issues depicted on the poster to measure their level of awareness

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