As contradictory as it might sound, the stability of our loss prevention program is largely dependent on our ability to react and respond to change; and that begins with our people. The evolution of a successful and productive team is an ongoing process. Every member of our team has both personal and professional objectives and agendas, all of which will impact their approaches, their performance, their outlook and their potential.
Most managers understand the importance of getting the right players on their team, and putting those players in the right roles. We attempt to hire talented individuals, place them in positions where we feel they can be most successful, and provide them with the appropriate loss prevention training to meet the needs and expectations of the job.
Establishing and maintaining the expertise necessary to perform our required function demands that we develop the knowledge, skills, proficiencies and abilities of our team. Strong loss prevention training practices help build success. We train to cover the bases—the rules and guidelines, the fundamental competencies of the job, the essential ground rules that help to make people better at the position that they are in.
But leaders also recognize that our best team members don’t want to be stagnant. They want to move forward in their careers, and take the steps necessary to reach the next level—and the one after that. The development of knowledge and understanding and the practical application of our skills and abilities helps to groom us for what lies ahead.
As a result, effective loss prevention training and development plans must prepare and elicit success for the individual in their current role, but must also draw on the individual’s potential, whatever that might be. A successful program will typically include the following steps:
- Assessment of individual proficiencies and identification of training needs. This should facilitate both the improvement of developmental opportunities and the enhancement of personal strengths. Appropriate and realistic goals should be established, as well as a means of assessing progress in relation to those goals.
- Development, implementation and delivery of needed training that will address those strengths and opportunities—the needs, motivations, desires, skills and thought processes that can assist the individual in making real and lasting changes.
- Encourage a commitment to action, to personal growth and to the plan.
- Frequent, consistent, and objective evaluation of the effectiveness of the training and development program; and the value it brings to the skills of the specific individual.
- Evaluation of the effect that the program has had on the individual’s performance and their ability to translate what they’ve learned into results, using objective measures wherever possible in order to ensure that goals are being met.
- Reassessment of skills, needs, and approaches where necessary and appropriate.
Finding Our Place
Not every employee has the ability or the desire to become the next Director or Vice President of Loss Prevention. But whatever role best suits the individual it should be our objective to provide them with the opportunity to become the best that they can possibly be. Loss prevention training and development programs provide us with that vehicle. A commitment to help our team grow and evolve must be built into our programs.
By the same respect, it is ultimately every individual’s responsibility to create and manage their own development plan. We must take charge of our own careers. We can’t expect someone else to do it for us. There is no sword that we can pull out of a stone that gives us a divine place in the world. There is no wheel we can spin that will determine the right path for us. And while they may provide us with guidance and support, it is not the responsibility of our company, our supervisor or anyone else to do it for us.
Opportunity is the result of effort. We must put together our own career map that determines where and how far our careers will take us, what direction we would like to go and what our final destination might be. We then plot the path that we would like to take. The role of leadership has never been to draw the map, but rather to guide the way; providing the compass that leads us in the right direction.
By 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, professional loss prevention training and development, and the certification process, visit losspreventionfoundation.org.