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  1. #1
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    Wink Cell phones at work

    There was a thread about Ipods at work, but what about cell phones? I was an Assistant Lpm over a large staff, and the Lpm and I made our staff keep their phones in their lockers because cell phones were too big of a distraction to the staff. They could use them on fifteen minute breaks or their hour and in case of emergency, people could call our outside line or our extension to reach staff members. They grumbled at first, but got used to the expectation. With my new staff I want to implement the same rule to increase work productivity, but am getting some negative feedback from HR. Anyone have any input about cell phone usage at work?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by capurato View Post
    There was a thread about Ipods at work, but what about cell phones? I was an Assistant Lpm over a large staff, and the Lpm and I made our staff keep their phones in their lockers because cell phones were too big of a distraction to the staff. They could use them on fifteen minute breaks or their hour and in case of emergency, people could call our outside line or our extension to reach staff members. They grumbled at first, but got used to the expectation. With my new staff I want to implement the same rule to increase work productivity, but am getting some negative feedback from HR. Anyone have any input about cell phone usage at work?
    LP Should have cell phones on them at all times. In my opinion it is a safety issue I can not count how many times I have called 911 on my cell.
    I will always fondly remember the days of mall security, the expressions on the thankful patrons you saved from certain molestation in the mall bathrooms. The look of pain in the drooling face of the shoplifter you just choke-holded to unconsciousness

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above quote are the views of Gecko45 and do not reflect
    the views and opinions of ONLP.

  3. #3
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    if you cannot trust your own LP staff to not fiddle with their phones when they should be working, get a new LP staff. Cashiers and such, I can understand needing to restrict (seeing as I work at the largest retailer, I understand). But your own staff? Naw, one strict warning from you should be fine. Yes, we have smartphones but we also like our jobs. So, sure, I use mine occasionally to look something up or in this time of the year, look up march madness scores. But I rarely if ever take it out when I actually am working or if there is any need for me to focus on my current task.

    That's in my opinion and I'm 23, so I understand some older than me may disagree over policies. Especially with floor walking AP, that would help you blend in no? As long as you're not just wandering not paying any attention, be looking but use it as a decoy (reference to the ipod thread)

  4. #4
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    I believe that LPs should always have communications devices on them, for safety reasons. What if one makes a stop outside the store, they are required to go hands on, and cannot safely escort the person back inside? It's a safety concern, unless you're providing them with a store cellphone, or if there's a second LP on, a radio.

    Cellphones also assist with blending in. If you feel like you're getting close to getting burned, pretend to make a phone call so that it could appear that you're simply wasting time before picking someone up, or you're confused as to what your wife sent you to the store to purchase.

    If my employees have smartphones, they are very good at subtly making small notes and such about what your subject is doing, in a very disclosed fashion. These notes help greatly in the details (accurate times, an accurate timeline) one can add to the reports (Crown Councils, Incident Reports) and to their own notebooks.

    Finally, they are useful as a last-minute tool to take photographs of individuals if a camera is not readily available.

    With all this said, there should still be measures to ensure that the cellphone is not negatively impacting their job performance. Every single item (literally - computers, CCTV, cellphones, anything) a person has access to can either be used as a tool or as a distraction, so clearly identifying where that line is will keep productivity high and at the same time, allowing your staff the tools to do the job in an effective manner.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nauticus View Post
    Finally, they are useful as a last-minute tool to take photographs of individuals if a camera is not readily available.
    I'm not retail LP, just Hotel LP but I use mine for this reason a lot.

    Also since I supervise the Officers working at 2 other hotels while I'm working at mine it makes it easier for them to reach me.

    When I replace someone who is sick at one of the other hotels where there is just me & the Night Auditor I use it rather than the walkie-talkie.
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ONLP View Post
    LP Should have cell phones on them at all times. In my opinion it is a safety issue I can not count how many times I have called 911 on my cell.
    I agree if you are working alone. That being said, we run anywhere from four to five people per shift. Whoever is the supervisor has a store cell phone, all LP have radios and the CCTV room have three outside lines. This is not a valid reason for our LP to be carrying their personal cell phone. Also, how did people call the police in the late nineties, early two-thousands? That's what my boss always tells the guys (he has been in the business since the late 1980's) when they tell him they need it to call 911.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nauticus View Post
    I believe that LPs should always have communications devices on them, for safety reasons. What if one makes a stop outside the store, they are required to go hands on, and cannot safely escort the person back inside? It's a safety concern, unless you're providing them with a store cellphone, or if there's a second LP on, a radio.
    I agree, we provide them with radios and the supervisor has a store cell phone. Most stops there is at least one uniformed VSO and a Detective with the CCTV guy coming out to assist. The detention room and camera room have outside line also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nauticus View Post
    If my employees have smartphones, they are very good at subtly making small notes and such about what your subject is doing, in a very disclosed fashion. These notes help greatly in the details (accurate times, an accurate timeline) one can add to the reports (Crown Councils, Incident Reports) and to their own notebooks.

    Finally, they are useful as a last-minute tool to take photographs of individuals if a camera is not readily available.
    I agree, but most of our hourly guys are not using their smart phones for work related issues. They are playing games, texting etc. Also using a personal cell phone to take photographs of incidents is a huge problem. The phones can be subpoenaed and taken as evidence and can cause all sorts of liability nightmares. Our guys know to always use the company provided digital camera (we have three) or the old school Polaroid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nauticus View Post
    With all this said, there should still be measures to ensure that the cellphone is not negatively impacting their job performance. Every single item (literally - computers, CCTV, cellphones, anything) a person has access to can either be used as a tool or as a distraction, so clearly identifying where that line is will keep productivity high and at the same time, allowing your staff the tools to do the job in an effective manner.
    Exactly, technology is wonderful and can be great for increasing productivity. The problem lies with the hourly associates thinking that cell phones are a right and not a privilege. Cell phones are a major distraction for associates and they can do their jobs without a cellphone. The old store manager used to require all employees, managers and associates alike, to keep their phones in a locker or office. If she caught them with it on the sales floor or out, she would confiscate them and they could pick it up from her office along with a written warning. If you accumulated enough warnings, you would be terminated.

    I need ideas on how to pitch it to an unresponsive and unsupportive store management and HR staff.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by capurato View Post
    Exactly, technology is wonderful and can be great for increasing productivity. The problem lies with the hourly associates thinking that cell phones are a right and not a privilege. Cell phones are a major distraction for associates and they can do their jobs without a cellphone. The old store manager used to require all employees, managers and associates alike, to keep their phones in a locker or office. If she caught them with it on the sales floor or out, she would confiscate them and they could pick it up from her office along with a written warning. If you accumulated enough warnings, you would be terminated.

    I need ideas on how to pitch it to an unresponsive and unsupportive store management and HR staff.
    You shouldn't really have to pitch anything. You draw a line between distraction vs efficiency, and you play from there.

    If you haven't put limits on cellphone use, you will have guys using cellphones inappropriately because no further restrictions have been made. Once clearly limits have been made, staff will know what they legitimately can and cannot do.

    Verbally telling someone what they can and can not do is useless, because it carries no weight. If you develop written policies based on cellphone use, it carries far more weight and restricts what people do.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nauticus View Post
    You shouldn't really have to pitch anything. You draw a line between distraction vs efficiency, and you play from there.

    If you haven't put limits on cellphone use, you will have guys using cellphones inappropriately because no further restrictions have been made. Once clearly limits have been made, staff will know what they legitimately can and cannot do.

    Verbally telling someone what they can and can not do is useless, because it carries no weight. If you develop written policies based on cellphone use, it carries far more weight and restricts what people do.
    Yeah, that . I didn't elucidate my posts, I had meant policies not just verbal warnings. If there isn't a written policy that is where you begin with HR/management.

  9. #9
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    When companies hire me to develop their loss prevention programs and write policy and procedure, most often they want me to include a policy restricting cell phone usage during work hours. When I gave my opinion on the other thread it was not from a perspective of an "old guy", but what currently what a company wants put into policy form.

    As far as "props" go, acting as if you were on a cell phone could be useful. I've wrote elsewhere that a successful prop I've used is a woman's purse. Holding a purse outside a woman's fitting room (or any woman's department) and acting like I was waiting for my wife has worked many time for me. Working on the floor is much like an acting job.

  10. #10
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    As a floor walker to manager....I was always required to carry my cell phone. To call PD or an ambulance or whatever.

    It's a good prop too. I would put up to my ear and say "hey, not much I'm at (store)" Of course it sometimes rang and I look like a dumbass. Purses made great props!! It hid my radio during the warm months when I didnt have my jacket.

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