John Lewis challenged us to devise a way to help them reduce their level of Shrinkage – which is loss to the business through things like theft and damage. We devised a high impact campaign that helped individual Partners take ownership of the problem and break it down into manageable actions that added up to a big impact.
The challenge of a figure like £50 million is that it seems insurmountable to any one individual – what can they possibly do to have an impact on such a huge number? That was the challenge John Lewis’ Profit Protection team came to us with. They wanted to cut through the noise of a busy retail environment, and encourage people to change the way Partners treat their customers and products.
We began by raising awareness of the problem – but made it personal to Partners by highlighting the fact that £50 million represented a potential 4% increase in their bonus. We followed this phase by breaking down the overall figure into branch-level targets and reinforcing the basic operating procedures that all Partners should follow in their department. Profit Protection leads in each site held team discussions, using our facilitator notes and briefing materials. These helped people create a bespoke action plan for their part of the business.
Finally, we equipped teams with materials to track their progress throughout the year and review the positive impact their changed behaviours were having.
Anecdotal feedback quickly told us that Shrinkage was finally a topic that people felt more comfortable talking about. Previously it had been something to be afraid of or too big to do anything about. Now, they had a clear goal and the language to talk about delivering it.
Even better, we saw teams getting competitive and building on the briefing packs we provided – creating their own incentives and recognition schemes within branches. But, most importantly, was the resulting reduction in Shrinkage. Following a year’s focus on the topic, and concerted efforts from people across Profit Protection and in branch, a 20% saving was made.