We all know the holiday season is very busy with a lot more people out shopping than usual. So how are you going to maintain your security and safety programs during this busy time?
Since the cannabis holiday season operates differently from the rest of the year, you need to understand precisely how your current programs handle security and safety. After you know your existing programs, you need to plan what would be an efficient way to manage these programs when there are a lot more people in your store. You cannot indifferently rely on the same security and safety procedures you have all year, but instead, need a more dynamic program when it comes to these busy days. Your security and safety programs give your employees concise instructions, which are not only clear but easy to follow.
For the Customers/Patients:
During the holiday season, most people are more stressed and distracted. That's why it's even more critical for you to be comfortable and trust your standard security policies and procedures before the season even starts. This trust will make it much easier to implement additional security and safety procedures during the holiday's season. You will need to make sure in advance that every security measure is working correctly, i.e., video systems, door locks, alarms system, safe, etc.
If there is something that isn't working correctly, you should fix it now – not during the holiday season. Don't block any cameras or alarms with holiday displays. Anything you put up at the store should be stationary and not interfere with your security infrastructure. Always ensure that vulnerable areas are appropriately locked or taken care of at all times, i.e., high dollar showcases.
For Potential Robbers:
Unfortunately, during the holiday season, external theft such as armed robberies, burglaries, and shoplifters also increase. Just as it is throughout the rest of the year, proper training of your theft awareness programs for all employees is critical. Every employee should be aware of how to react during these incidents.
What is an example of a good robbery prevention program?
Excellent customer service and attention to detail are the simplest and number one point to a robbery prevention program.
Greeting every customer when they come in the door doesn't just help with sales, but it also helps with acknowledging a potential thief. Robbers don't want to be recognized.
The greeting allows you to identify what the customer looks like and to begin a conversation.
Proper lighting in and outside the store communicates to the possible thief that the stores have taken efforts to prevent and monitor losses.
Have a store security code phrase to warn other employees that something is not right.
Employees should be instructed to try not to panic in the event of a robbery and always cooperate with the robber(s). The employee should be instructed to give the robber what they want and be calm to them. Never be aggressive or defensive, because that puts not only you but also everyone inside the store in more danger.
For Your Staff:
Another critical policy to discuss with your staff is store opening and closing procedures. A 20-minute meeting before Thanksgiving may be sufficient to review your Holiday security and safety programs. Having a daily security/safety checklist with reminders for your employees is essential to the security and safety of your location.
It would be best if you never opened or close your store alone, and there should always be at least two employees in the store at all times. When opening and closing the store, an employee should always be looking for any unusual activities in the parking lot. This will ensure a more safe and secure environment and also deter robbers.
One of the most critical aspects of security is trust in your team. Security and safety at your dispensary should never rely only on one person. Remember, it is a team effort, where every single member of a company knows security and safety policies and procedure and its limitations.
Remember that we work to live, not live to work, so take time to enjoy and appreciate the Holiday Season.
In conclusion, being proactive vs. reactive with your security and safety programs can make all the difference in your holiday season.
Best wishes for a very safe and prosperous Holiday Season!
Jose Alarcon is the Operations Manager at Sapphire Risk Advisory Group. Jose has a degree in Business Administration from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. He comes from three generations of worldwide physical security designers.