How To Reframe Loss Prevention in a Remote Work World: A Call to Action for Executives

The terms “COVID-19” and “post-pandemic” are ubiquitous, but their impact extends to how companies approach loss prevention. While traditional LP focused on safeguarding physical assets, a new approach is needed for the remote work world.

The Shift: From Assets to People

Previously, LP strategies revolved around mitigating theft, fraud, and operational errors, often relying on security measures, inventory management, and employee training to identify suspicious activity. However, this approach overlooks a critical element: employee wellbeing in a remote work environment.

Remote work is here to stay. Forbes Advisor reports that 98 percent of workers prefer remote positions, and nearly 35.6 million Americans are projected to be remote or hybrid by 2025. This shift presents new security concerns that executives need to address.

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While HR policies might restrict working from public spaces to minimize external risks, employee wellbeing is equally important. Psychologically healthy employees are less prone to mistakes and make better decisions. However, well-intentioned policies like encouraging physical activity can introduce unforeseen dangers:

Active Shooter Preparedness: Preventing Negative Reputation and Financial Loss

Recent FBI reports indicate a troubling rise in active shooter incidents, with 50 cases recorded in 25 states and the District of Columbia in 2022, doubling in 2023. Studies reveal that 49 percent of these incidents were linked to adverse interpersonal or employee actions. This underscores the importance of proactive measures, such as comprehensive employee support and training programs, to identify and address potential risks before they escalate. Additionally, implementing robust communication protocols and regular safety drills can enhance preparedness and minimize the impact on both employees and the company’s reputation.

  • Personal Security: Increased outdoor physical activity can put employees at risk of assault, robbery, or harassment during exercise routines, commutes, or even regular pet walks.
  • Home Security: Working from home exposes employees to greater risk if a robbery occurs while there.
  • Domestic Violence: Remote work can exacerbate domestic aggression or violence issues due to increased interaction between family members.
  • Travel Security: Business trips, conferences, and even school drop-offs can expose employees to travel risks and public transportation safety concerns.

Moving Beyond Legal and Insurance Limitations

Legalities and insurance coverage for out-of-office incidents may raise questions. But executives should consider this: an employee leading a million-dollar project might miss a crucial online meeting due to an attack during their morning jog. Similarly, a senior manager dealing with a domestic situation while working remotely could be emotionally distracted during important calls.

Reframe Response: A New Approach for Decision Makers

Benefit Risk Assessment (BRA) is a methodology for executives to use in assessing the appropriate response in the face of uncertainties. It weighs benefits against risks, and decides which sub-groups or actions must be temporarily paused in order to provide the greatest overall outcome under present context.

BRA is guided by several elements:

  • Decision is when management decides what the overall approach is to loss prevention, and is weighed based on pros and cons across stakeholders.
  • Control sets into place unique features, actions or trainings by certain sub-groups that must be protected from loss.
  • Valuation sets specific rules that target desired outcomes, or protect the company for a severe outcome.

Reframe Response: Training and Awareness

Reframe Response is a tool in the form of executive and staff training that broadens awareness as to the risks and outcomes that must be incorporated into an effective BRA through Decision, Control and Valuation stages. Reframe Response proposes segmenting corporate stakeholders into three key categories, each with different job descriptions and profiles:

  • Executive Management and HR: Focuses on corporate responsibility and growth, addressing specific needs like aggression recognition and situation management instruments, personal safety, travel security, active shooter scenarios, and remote work security.
  • Employees: Concentrates on security at work and during off-hours, including remote work, travel security awareness, domestic violence, and active shooter situations.
  • Frontline Employees: Prioritizes communication with clients, aggression de-escalation, and managing situations to enhance safety and customer care.

This segmented approach by HR categories allows a company to gain more insight into past decisions, lessons learned, biases, and varied risks in different aspects of the business model, while also enhancing a company’s awareness of the holistic risks it faces and how to prevent them.

Furthermore, Reframe Response focuses on ‘human’ situations and contexts so that very real employee concerns are surfaced and can be included in the BRA process. It brings greater attention to the risk and thus loss prevention that can stem from impacts on the mental state of employees, which is almost entirely excluded from the typical list of risks considered in loss prevention planning. Among those addressed are:

  • Better preparedness for active shooting situations. Training should include comprehensive security awareness and be modified to consider employees’ physical and health limitations. This approach ensures that all employees, regardless of their physical condition, will have better chances.
  • Helping people who work from home and feel family tension.
  • Giving tools for employees who struggle with sexual harassment off-duty

LP Strategies for a Thriving Remote Work Environment

Expanding the scope of LP to address the multifaceted challenges of modern corporations and their employees will not only safeguard the company’s physical and intellectual property but also protect and enhance its human capital. By prioritizing holistic security measures that include employee wellbeing, executives can foster a safer, more productive work environment that is well-equipped to face the challenges of a remote work world.

LP must evolve beyond traditional norms and procedures, and not only consider but train  and equip employees with tools to address daily threats, inclusive of:

  • Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication: Techniques to recognize and de-escalate aggression and stress.
  • Aggression Recognition and Management: Effective tools for dealing with difficult people.
  • Domestic Violence Support: Resources and support systems for employees facing domestic issues.
  • Personal Safety and Security: Strategies for employee safety both inside and outside of the traditional workplace.

By adopting these broader strategies, executives can ensure that their organizations are not only less vulnerable to traditional losses but are also proactive in preventing the newer, more personal challenges that remote work can bring. This holistic approach to LP is essential for building a resilient, thriving business in the modern landscape.


Yuly Grosman

Yuly Grosman is a thought leader, expert, and advanced trainer in institutional and personal security and safety. He has trained military, government services, police, corporations, and executives. His cutting edge ideas blend situational awareness, de-escalation, and simple yet highly effective techniques in self defense.

 

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