The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) hosted a 90-minute virtual Learning Day on Thursday, August 4, featuring compelling insights from industry leaders on how they’ve brought their teams through a challenging 30 months.
The panelists were Vice President of Asset Protection at Meijer Paul Jaeckle, LPC; Vice President of Asset Protection at Rite Aid Tina Sellers, LPC; and Vice President of Loss Prevention at Dick’s Sporting Goods David Lund, LPC.
The audience was able to submit questions, and the first was how many attendees had switched roles in the last 30 months since the start of the pandemic. Remarkably, 60 percent said they had.
Host and LPF President Terry Sullivan, LPC, asked David Lund what had changed for him in the last few years.
“Having to deal with so much over so little time, empathy is something that’s been sharpened in my toolbox,” Lund said. “I also like to believe I’ve become a better listener. My perceptions about remote work—three years ago you could not have dragged me to let the team manage themselves somewhere I couldn’t be involved, but the ability to trust and see real success and bring much greater integration into their personal and work life really made a big difference in me, and actually made me a better delegator, and more trusting leader. People get it done. With that said I still don’t like remote work as much as face-to-face, but I think being together is what helps build those important bonds at work, and it’s hard to do virtually, so I miss that piece.”
Continuing to talk about remote work, Sullivan asked about company culture, and whether the panelists have a strategy in place to promote culture.
“Absolutely for Rite Aid, we were in the middle of a rebirth of company culture when all of this happened to us,” Sellers explained. “It’s been an ongoing challenge to do it all remotely amid all the various crises, but it’s been a dedicated effort, and I think a very successful one. When we within the company think of Rite Aid now, we think of it as a very health-driven company—a cross between western medicine and other new age things we want our pharmacists to talk to our customers about, so I think it’s been a very successful company culture push, but also a pull, because that’s how we stay connected.”
LP leaders have also placed importance on staying connected with those outside of their organization during this difficult period.
“The RILA LP Leaders Council has been really great for the department leads coming together to identify what are the pressures coming at us, and how can we address them together,” Jaeckle said. “I look at the people on this panel, and all three of you I’ve talked to at different times. I think in the more traditional sense of asset protection, topics like ORC and civil unrest and other things we’re dealing with as a part of our day jobs—that enterprise and those businesses that are creating havoc for all of us—there’s no isolation that says it’s only a one-retailer problem. If I’m being impacted, I know Tina is being impacted, and we can have conversations about it. That’s probably one of the healthiest things that’s come out of the past 30 months for me. One of the things that makes this industry so great is how deeply connected it is, and the reality that there isn’t a competitive advantage—we’re all trying to fight the same battles.”
If you missed this online event, don’t worry—you can still register to watch a free recording of the Learning Day here.