How to avoid confrontation in your store
What are your risks?
Violence in the workplace is broken down into 4 different groups, known as:
- Criminal intent
- Client or customer incidents
- Worker to worker incidents
- Domestic violence incidents
Ensuring your shop is a safe workplace
Ensuring your store is a safe workplace - summary
Although violence can occur in almost any workplace, there are precautions that can help to avoid violent confrontations in a retail environment:
- Have a zero-tolerance policy against staff abuse, publish this in store and take any threat made seriously.
- If possible, be seen to be moving around the store frequently to give the impression that you are always watching.
- As long as they aren’t fire doors, lock any doors that could be an escape route.
- Relay any strange behaviour to your staff, such as people loitering around the premises so that everyone knows to be vigilant.
- Have a direct line for your local constabulary in the event that there is an incident and make sure all relevant staff know what this is.
- Be able to recognise the signs of stalking of a member of staff, whether this is from a member of the public or a colleague.
- Learn how to avoid violent incidents through diffusing and de-escalating.
- Encourage staff to share lifts for late shifts if possible.
- Take note of any security or safety concerns.
- Create a written report of any incidents as quickly as possible.
Making sure that you can effectively handle conflict resolution and dangerous situations is, unfortunately, a necessity in the retail industry, so also ensure that you adhere to your company policies and cooperate with your management team.