By Chad Ross, Manager, Industry Relations & Total Store Collaboration, FMI
After seven months of quarantine, the days are getting shorter and the temperatures cooler, all while the barometer may be fluctuating in your respective communities. From preparing for the World Series win to political tensions, your colleagues and neighborhoods are experiencing a range of emotions. We can’t control the factors that lead to unrest, but we can continue to prepare to keep associates, customers and our businesses safe.
Since originally drafting our civil unrest guide, we continued to learn from our food industry members, host conversations among crisis, risk and safety practitioners, and produce the most reliable guide in the industry. We will be updating the guide to include several new considerations and tips outlined below:
- Consider working with local law enforcement to analyze each store or warehouse to assess risk.
- Once you understand your threat probability:
- Adjust delivery schedules to avoid night deliveries, if necessary.
- Remove combustible and projectile items from the store parking lots (trash cans, excess carts, etc.).
- Organize boarding packages for high-risk stores.
- Order additional pallets of water and storing pallets to be placed at door locations inside, if needed.
- Have the conversation with your other business partners (landlord, delivery companies, security firms, trading partners) to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to having a plan for potential unrest.
- Remind your vendors that they play roles and responsibilities supporting your store policies and procedures through their words and actions.
- Re-enforce the uniform policy across the organization (including masks) that stresses no political affiliation or social statements.
- Revisit your cyber security protocols, including your patch plan.
- Review your social media policies and remind your employees that we serve a customer-centric, service industry.
As the leading providers of safe, affordable, and nutritious food at retail outlets across the country, the food industry holds a unique position within your communities. Here are some additional tools you can use with your teams and department leads:
- Download the FMI Crisis Management Guide: De-Escalation
- Download the FMI Crisis Management Guide: Civil Unrest
- Download the Cybersecurity: The New Normal
- Webinar Recording: De-Escalate: Tools for Conflict Management in the Grocery Store