Recent news about armed Taco Bell workers who shot a robber is all over the Internet. While these employees did stop a robbery, they also killed another person. The robber did have a gun and had ordered the employees to get on the floor. What we don’t know is if the robber would have used his gun.
This is just one example of employees who fight back. These can be convenience stores, donut shops, sandwich shops, drug stores, and any other small retail operation that stays open late. Typically, the robbers want cash, but they can go after medications or cigarettes as well. And they carry a range of weapons, such as hand guns, shotguns, axes, knives, and even a screw driver.
When an employee fights back, they usually agree that it was an impulsive act. They will use whatever weapon they have, including their bare hands. Afterward, these employees are relieved that the situation did not turn out badly for themselves and any customers who happened to be in the store.
Corporately owned stores have rules about not fighting back because money and merchandise can be replaced, but people cannot be. They realize what media coverage of a customer being killed in the store would do to their business, not to mention law suits.
Independently owned and franchised businesses make their own rules where employee behavior is concerned. While the corporation may advocate no fighting back, an owner may back their employees and even encourage that behavior. But what are the potential costs to employees or customers?
Regardless of the store’s policy about striking back during a robbery, employee training is important. In the case where resisting is encouraged, the employees must be trained to defend in a manner that protects themselves and their customers. For companies that rightly have rules about NOT fighting back, employees also must be trained how to respond in a manner that keeps themselves and the customers safe as well. Because a response to a threat is usually instinctual, they will need training to override impulsive actions.
Furthermore, employee training can prevent attacks. When employees keep the amount of cash in the register low, potential robbers know it. When employees are trained to observe what happens around the store and in it, robbers have fewer opportunities to attack. And a properly trained employee will have the presence of mind to look for details about the robber and vehicle to help law enforcement capture the robber. Employees can also be trained how to behave when threatened as well as how to maintain the store, keep the windows clear, and the lights bright in the store; All of these factors may not stop a robbery of opportunity, but it can help prevent most robberies.
Any retail store that is open late at night can be a target. Make sure your employees are trained in robbery prevention and reaction procedures. Not only that, train them often so that when they are in a frightening situation, they will remember how to react.
One method for instilling knowledge and making sure it is remembered during an attack, is to gamify a training program. While not an actual game, gamification in training has been shown to be an effective way to instill knowledge that will be remembered and applied at a future time. Such a program allows employees to interact with the training, and “practice” before the situation occurs. If your business would benefit from a properly trained workforce in robbery prevention and reaction, leave a message at Practical Learning Concepts Contact and an associate will contact you about the program details.
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