LP 101: Coaching as an Effective Loss Prevention Career Management Strategy

Coaching is intended to assess and improve performance of an individual or a team through goal setting, encouragement, motivation and one-on-one dialogue. Typically, the focus of coaching is to influence others to think for themselves, providing insights and offering suggestions that help us to explore options, problems, situations and solutions that lead us to reach our own conclusions as we build our loss prevention career.

The role of the coach is to provide structure, guidance and support. We look to enhance knowledge and skills through proper training, encouraging the team members to consider their options, solve problems and move forward. In this way we can help our team to think in a more effective way, become more independent, improve their problem solving skills and take greater responsibility for issues as they occur.

  • We evaluate their current status while considering their perceptions and assumptions regarding their work performance, their self-assessments and their insights as well as their relationships with others that they work with. Any and all feedback should be honest and constructive.
  • We identify and agree on learning needs that we wish to address, and help them prioritize those needs.
  • We help them establish relevant and realistic professional goals, based on abilities, ambitions and aspirations. We set learning objectives that are clear and attainable.
  • We support and encourage them to take relevant and realistic steps towards reaching those goals.
  • We encourage learning, self-reflection and self-awareness through support and feedback.
  • We strive for continuous improvement, and new developmental goals that will further improve competencies.

The goal of coaching is to improve the person as an employee, as well as helping to build a successful loss prevention career. Our approach must be global and more flexible. What is the next level or opportunity for them? How can we help them get there? You have to want to develop your people, and open to their growth opportunities without reservation. Our team should know that we support their development even if it means that they move upward and onward.

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Coaching Requires Flexibility

Everyone learns in different ways, and it is important that we attempt to establish the most appropriate approach to learning. For coaching to be effective, it is essential to understand which approach best suits the learner. We have to be willing to explore and test a variety of coaching methods by watching, listening, thinking, reading, observing, reflecting and trying new things in order to find the approach which gives the greatest return.

It is important to remind ourselves that coaching is largely about the employee’s self-discovery, and not simply a product of formal training programs or other supervised learning exercises. The employee must have the desire to learn and grow, actively participate in the process, and take ownership of their individual career growth plans.

Since people learn in different ways, we can’t effectively coach every member of our team the same way. The differences in the way that we think and process information, the style of learning that we find most successful, and ultimately our capacity for learning must all be considered when establishing individual growth plans. Understanding what those differences are is the first step towards finding viable growth solutions.

By the same respect, there are many different characteristics that factor into the development of a winning team. Analyzing team dynamics helps to give us a broader scope of the individuals that make up the group—opposing and complimentary skill sets, flexibility, diplomacy, accountability, cooperation, drive and leadership. It also gives us a better feel for where we stand as a department, helping us to identify the strengths and weaknesses of our team so that we can become more effective as a whole and more valuable when serving the needs of our stores.

The role of the coach is to inspire others to come together on a common direction or goal while forging cooperation and building trust. We can make the team stronger by encouraging them to develop their joint skills and talents, sharing responsibility, delegating authority and nurturing the team members in a way that will help them grow individually and as a unit.

LPF LogoBy capitalizing on opportunities to enhance our knowledge and education, we are making an investment in our own future. To learn more about investing in your career, coaching, and the certification process, visit losspreventionfoundation.org.

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