Any words that are associated with harsh consequences or punishment should be avoided, as this would only increase the level of fear that the subject has. Read More
A career in retail loss prevention is a professional path that can build the foundation for a great future, and take the ambitious individual in any number of directions. But it is still up to each of us to take responsibility for the development of our own careers. It’s not up to our company to do it for us, and it’s not up to our supervisors or anyone else. No one is going to hand us a pass that leads to the front of the line. Talent alone isn’t enough. It takes commitment, determination and a plan to get ahead—and stay there.
Professional development should be seen as a continuous process, and we should always be looking for ways to improve our performance. In order to maximize our potential, it is essential to maintain superior levels of professional competence by continually developing our skills, abilities, and base of knowledge. It’s no longer enough to have information; we must be able to effectively apply and share that information as well. It’s our responsibility to own and manage the process; driven by individual learning and developmental needs and carrying a personal signature for success.
Retail is an extremely competitive industry, and loss prevention has become an integral function of a successful retail model. In order to remain successful, we must be able to perform our duties with optimum efficiency, make sound judgments and interact appropriately with customers and colleagues. Our professional development must be characterized by strong problem-solving and decision making skills, a superior knowledge base, and an ability to effectively apply our knowledge and experience to the diverse situations that we face on a day-to-day basis.
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Here are some of the fundamental elements of an effective professional development plan:
- The ability to objectively reflect on our individual talents, skills, knowledge, and experiences. Everyone has areas where they can improve. Searching for developmental opportunities within ourselves is an essential aspect of self-improvement. Then devise a plan that keeps you moving in a positive and productive direction, addressing the learning and developmental needs that you have identified.
- An education is an investment that we make in ourselves. Structured training and development, such as loss prevention certification programs and continuing education, can help address opportunities for improvement and build areas of personal strength. Seek out different methods of learning in order to meet your identified needs and goals. Conferences, associations and other functions are good sources of information and tremendous networking opportunities.
- Learn the business of retail. As we step forward into a new age of loss prevention, the industry will become much more ingrained in every aspect of the retail industry. Our ability to adjust while determining how loss prevention best fits into the company strategy will help us ascertain how we can deliver the most value. Being “relevant” is no longer good enough—we have to be part of the solutions. We have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone, expanding our skills, abilities, education, experience, and leadership roles. We have to be able to stay in front of the business; driving core processes and developing new tools while continuing to support the company direction. The way that we see things and the methods that we apply must evolve, and are an essential aspect of our personal and professional development. Mature as a business partner to build towards the future.
- Remain flexible and open-minded. Share ideas and opinions, but remain open to those of others. Work to improve or acquire additional non-technical knowledge (e.g., leadership, communication skills, presentation skills, etc.) that can help to prepare you for broader responsibilities when such opportunities arise. Develop your listening and observation skills as a path to learning. Growth is a process—not a position.
- Stay current with the news, trends, tools, technologies, events, and approaches that shape the future of loss prevention jobs. Identify the resources that can help you remain current and informed—then pay attention. The world won’t wait for you to catch up.
- A plan means nothing without action—take the steps to move forward. Complete the chosen activities and programs that you feel are necessary to help improve your learning and developmental objectives. Evaluate the results. Reflect on how well planned objectives have been achieved and any additional steps that may be necessary to reach your goals.
Professional relevance depends on the ability to continually upgrade our knowledge and skills. Professional security is no longer simply found in a job or in a company. True security is found by making yourself as marketable as you possibly can, and applying a well-rounded and well conceived plan to get there. Continuing education, training and skills development, lifelong learning activities, intellectual nourishment and exposure to new ideas, our own professional experience and our personal and professional networking opportunities all contribute to that plan.
A motivated and hard-working professional can explore a vast spectrum of opportunities and possible career choices in the world of loss prevention. As the industry has continued to evolve into a profession, our role continues to develop as well, taking a more global path with broader responsibilities and higher expectations.
A successful career in loss prevention requires that we embrace a global perspective of the profession. As we explore the possibilities, we must contrive a plan that best fits our personal skills, abilities, goals and objectives. Managing for success only works for us when we have defined what we consider success to be. Only you can make that decision. And only you can put that plan into action.
In a 2016 survey of retail loss prevention executives, staff turnover and retention of staff was identified as a cause of concern. “Attracting and retaining a good caliber of loss protection professional at regional and street level [is problematic],” said one respondent in the report by Professor Martin Gill, Retail Read More
We are pleased to recognize and congratulate an industry leader who recently obtained their LPC certification. Despite their demanding schedule and having other impressive educational credentials, they still saw the value and took the time to obtain this industry-leading LPC credential. Read More
In the 1970s and 1980s, service in local, state, and federal law enforcement was the required foundational experience for most loss prevention leaders. Today, the ability to collaborate with business partners has become the most important competency. The retail industry has begun to require more diversified loss prevention skills.
As theft Read More
Implementing an effective loss prevention department can be a challenging undertaking in today’s retail environment. With the multitude of different business priorities, increased workloads, budget limitations, turnover issues, technological considerations, corporate agendas, and the many competitive aspects of the organizational landscape, our ability to find a formula for success is tested Read More
Professional advancement and building a successful loss prevention career can mean many things to many different people. For some individuals, it may mean reaching a top leadership position at a particular company, perhaps serving as a director or vice president of loss prevention/asset protection. For others, it may involve gaining Read More
Building a successful loss prevention career requires dedication, hard work, and long hours honing our skills and abilities as we strive to become among the best at what we do. We spend our careers building upon our talents through both performance and professional development. We learn and grow from those Read More
LPM Insider Survey: Should Retail Employees and LP Pros Be Better Trained to Defuse Violent Situations in the Workplace?
Incidents of violence in the retail setting have become an ongoing and consistent problem. Nearly every day, there are occurrences that result in violent behavior, often resulting in someone getting hurt.
For example, just last week in the LPM Insider we reported that a loss prevention associate suffered lacerations after having Read More
In last week’s LPM survey, we discussed loss prevention industry conferences, which bring together professionals from across the industry to network, learn, and share best practices amongst peers.
Industry conferences provide a tremendous wealth of information and opportunities for those in attendance, opening doors and opening minds to the possibilities across Read More
Here is a challenge for you. Close your eyes and think of the best person you know or have ever met. Do you have someone in your mind? Now, when did you last reach out to them to tell them how much you respect and appreciate and love them? So Read More