Porto Alegre, RS – Since assuming the commitment to internalize the role of prevention agent in all its stores in Brazil, in November 2020, Grupo Carrefour Brasil has built a Working Group supported by the Independent External Committee on Diversity and has been working on hiring and training these professionals. In all, more than 600 new prevention agents are already part of the Group's workforce and are all being trained in the company's new safety model.
Considered a pioneer in the country, the model brings inclusion and respect guidelines, new rules for dealing with conflicts and has an important change in the professional profile, reflecting the diversity of the Brazilian population — that is, with more black people and women. The result is more humanized security, with a welcoming profile, which is present in stores with the aim of providing the best experience for the customer.
The new security model began to be articulated in partnership with Odabá – Associação de Afroempreendedorismo, whose purpose is the economic empowerment of black people. In an agile and efficient process, more than 20 Afro-entrepreneurs from different areas were involved in multidisciplinary activities, designing and executing an intentional recruitment and selection project, including literacy on race and diversity for leaders and new hires at Carrefour. This first stage was developed in three months, when 42 new employees were hired as prevention agents for the stores in Porto Alegre, Gravataí and Canoas in Rio Grande do Sul. Of these, more than 80% are self-declared black or brown and about 50% are women.
“If, as Abdias do Nascimento used to say, there are doors that only open from the inside, we cannot fail to go through them when they are wide open. And that's what Odabá did on this opportunity. The association's work was fundamental in promoting the necessary changes in Carrefour's anti-racist programs aimed at its security team. There was an urgent need for change. We were able to meet the challenge quickly and with quality, because we have competence and professional sophistication among our Afro-entrepreneurs members”, emphasizes Onilia Araújo, sustainability director at Odabá.
As part of the commitment to radical transformation and building on the experience of the POA pilot, a new security model was developed in partnership with ICTS Protiviti, a consulting company. New technologies and golden rules were implemented as a way to train and provide repertoire and tools for employees to deal with in-store conflicts. In all, more than R$ 5 million were invested in implementing this new security model.
In a first survey carried out with customers, the response to the new security model was positive, with 100% of them saying they approved the change implemented by Carrefour. All stores in Porto Alegre are already operating under the new security model.
“This security model that we are implementing in our stores is a pioneer in Brazil. With this, we want to guarantee to our customers and employees that they will find a safe and welcoming environment to shop. With the support of technology, we will be able to guarantee that any conflict that may occur in our stores can be resolved in an adequate and transparent manner”, says Claudionor Alves, Director of Safety, Risks and Prevention of Grupo Carrefour Brasil.
New prevention agent profile
With the implementation of this new model, there was a major change in the profile of the professional who performs the role of prevention agent, who now has a more welcoming and empathetic profile, with a total focus on the customer, going through several diversity trainings, customer service and conflict management. Its main role will be in preventive care and problem solving, with the customer in the spotlight. Another point that is worth mentioning is that this new profile is not only for the prevention agent, but for everyone who works in the store, as taking good care of the customer is everyone's job.
Across the country, these employees were hired considering the representativeness of the Brazilian population, with approximately 50% of blacks and women. This initiative, which was already being considered in the commitments assumed by Carrefour, is also part of the Conduct Adjustment Term (TAC), signed last June 11 with the Public Ministry of Rio Grande do Sul and other authorities and entities.
Additionally, these professionals will have body cameras, as a way to have technology as an ally in a conflict situation. All images captured by the camera are registered and stored in the stores' system and managed by the Operations Control Center, located at Carrefour headquarters, in São Paulo. This allows that, in any conflict situation, the network can have faster access to facts and respond more quickly.
All employees, including the new prevention agents, underwent training in the Eu Pratico Respect program, which has a content track divided into five pillars:
• Conflict management: the employee will be able to have an analysis of a possible conflict and check wether it is a rational or irrational situation before proceeding with the service;
• Understanding their role: each employee needs to understand their role in a conflict situation;
• Autonomy: employees have more autonomy to solve the client's problems in case of a rational conflict, where there is a conversation with the client, without any type of physical, verbal or gestural aggression;
• Irrational situation: if any employee finds himself in an irrational conflict situation, when a more heated discussion might start, he will trigger his manager to take control of the conflict and resolve it with the client more smoothly;
• Focus on the customer: the focus of all employees is on welcoming the victim and not the aggressor in case of irrational conflicts.
New security model
Carrefour invested R$ 5 million in the project, which establishes a new customer service profile and “Golden Rules” to be followed by all employees, not just those responsible for prevention. “Taking care of the customer during their shopping journey is everyone's responsibility, not just the prevention agent. Everyone needs to take care of the store's well-being and help customers from the moment they arrive at our stores until they leave”, emphasizes Claudionor.
The new security model establishes five rules that cannot be broken, with zero tolerance for those who break them. The rules are:
• We practice the culture of inclusion
Here we do not accept or practice any form of prejudice, discrimination and racism
• We respect limits
Here we do not practice any form of physical violence
• We have emotional intelligence
We do not engage or respond with any form of verbal aggression
• We are friendly to everyone
Here we do not get involved or respond with any form of gestural aggression
• We act with Respect
Here we do not use psychological violence or use of intimidation
“Despite our experience in similar projects, this was a challenging project for ICTS Protiviti, as we had to combine our knowledge of prevention and safety in retail with our ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) skills in a multidisciplinary way. To this end, we brought together our experts in inventory loss prevention, business security, conflict management and ESG into a team on a project which the speed of implementation was a critical success factor. In addition to the customer interface points, relevant backstage points had to be addressed, such as the review of prevention governance, internal process indicators and online management of in-store occurrences”, says Fernando Fleider, CEO of ICTS Protiviti.
From now on, store leaders will play an extremely important role, with the responsibility to closely monitor the work of prevention agents. With a more educational attitude, leaders will give constant feedbacks after managing possible conflicts, identifying the attitudes that are correct and those that need to be improved according to the premises established by the new security model.
To monitor the actions of the new preventive model, internal audits will be carried out every three months to measure its results and identify possible adjustments. Additionally, an external and independent review will be responsible for measuring these results on an annual basis.
In addition, aware of their social role, all the chain's stores will have partnerships with local entities to help fight hunger in the region, a situation that is plaguing the country and which has had a sad increase since the beginning of the pandemic, in 2020.
Store external security
Asset security for all stores — called external security or surveillance — will continue to be done by third-party companies. By law, this service must be performed by companies that have the seal of the Federal Police and cannot be internalized. In order to ensure that these companies follow Carrefour's security protocols, all contracts were reviewed and had an anti-racist clause included. This clause establishes zero tolerance in case of any act of this nature. In addition, training content was made available for security companies to train their employees in the new security model of the Carrefour Group. A management platform was also created that gives access to providers in stores, ensuring adherence to technical and administrative specifications and recommended training.
On the night of November 19, 2020, João Alberto Silveira Freitas was killed on the premises of our store in Passo D'Areia, in Porto Alegre/RS, in an act that does not represent and is not consistent with Carrefour's values.
On this website, we reinforce the actions we are taking in view of this fact and the commitments made to society and to our body of more than 100,000 employees throughout Brazil. With the objective of continuing to evolve as a company and contributing to the fight against structural racism in Brazil.