VITAMIN COTTAGE NUTRITIONAL HEALTH COACH
The dual role of the Vitamin Cottage Nutritional Health Coach (NHC) emphasizes employee/customer education and retail operations. The NHC position is fundamental for providing ongoing support and evidence-based nutrition education/training to the store employees, the customers and the community as a whole.
To provide Vitamin Cottage customers with a professional resource for nutrition information while promoting a positive and preventive vision of healthcare.
To become an educational link for other employees and keep them informed about nutrition and store products.
EDUCATION AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
NHCs are required to have a degree/certification innutrition or a related field (e.g., dietetics, masters in biology, masters in biochemistry, naturopathy) from a college or university accredited by a regional and/or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as reliable, or from a college or university accredited by the Canadian government.
Proof of education must be submitted at time of application. Continuing education, if required to maintain degree/certification, must be fulfilled throughout tenure of employment. Proof of maintenance of degree/certification must be submitted as necessary.
NHCs must be able to obtain and maintain liability insurance.
The NHC position is a dual position: NHCs are vitamin aisle employees, with the same job responsibilities as all vitamin aisle employees, and they hold the professional position of NHC in the store, with job responsibilities unique to that position.
The split in responsibilities will be as follows, which should be used as a guideline by managers when scheduling for vitamin aisle coverage in the store and by NHCs to gauge the time they have to accomplish their essential NHC responsibilities:
50% to 60% of the time the NHC will spend in the vitamin aisle performing vitamin aisle duties. (Please see "Vitamin Aisle Duties" section of this job description for more details.)
40% to 50% of the time the NHC will perform NHC Duties. (Please see "NHC Duties" section of this job description for more details.)
The Store Manager/Store Supervision
Is the supervisor of the NHC and is responsible for hiring, firing, discipline, scheduling and assigning the NHC to required duties to support the needs of the store. (This is the same for all store level positions, ie vitamin manager, cashier, receiving manager, etc. The NHC is a store level position.)
Scheduling floor time
Scheduling NHC duties time (consults, outreach, etc.)
Responsible for reviews and raise evaluations with input from other supervisory staff both at the store and Home Office level.
The NHCs are to work with the Store Manager, Assistant Manager, Vitamin Manager, MODs, etc., to support the running of the store.
The Nutrition Program Coordinator
Responsible for coordinating training, education requirements and outreach.
Will provide input to the Store Manager regarding NHC performance in the NHC Program for the purpose of reviews and raise evaluations.
Vitamin Aisle Supervision
The Vitamin Manager is the direct supervisor of the NHC when the NHC is performing vitamin aisle duties.
The Vitamin Manager is responsible for assigning duties and supervising work performance when the NHC is performing vitamin aisle duties and working in the vitamin aisle.
Assigning of duties must be done taking into account the regular vitamin aisle duties of the NHC that must be completed in a timely manner: book orders and book department maintenance, customer literature file maintenance, political podium maintenance, take 15s, group tours and presentations in the vitamin aisles.
Assigning of duties should take into account the fact that your NHC is the employee with the greatest ability and knowledge to answer customer questions regarding products. Therefore, the NHC position should be utilized accordingly.
NHCs should view their role when performing vitamin aisle duties as one of supporting the efficient functioning of the vitamin department. They should ask themselves what they can do to support the efficient running of the vitamin department and turn to the Vitamin Manager for guidance.
The Vitamin Manager will provide input regarding job performance in the vitamin aisle to the Store Manager for the purpose of reviews and raise evaluations.
The overall supervisor of the NHC Program is the Vice President of Nutrition.
Responsible for defining the parameters of the position and defining the direction of the NHC Program.
Will provide input to the Store Manager, Director of Nutrition, and Nutrition Coordinator regarding observed NHC performance.
VITAMIN AISLE DUTIES
60% to 50% of NHC time will be spent on vitamin aisle responsibilities, which include but are not limited to the following.
Customer service is the primary responsibility of every employee. NHCs are considered key vitamin aisle employees, as a nutrition resource for customers as well as employees. While the NHC is considered a key vitamin aisle employee, she or he should be prepared to assist customers in any section/department of the store and may be assigned to work in other departments as needed.
Greeting customers as you work in the aisles
Being the store's primary source of nutrition information
Helping customers find products
Answering customer questions
Answering the phone
Taking special orders
When helping customers in the aisles, do not spend more than 15 to 20 minutes with one customer. If a customer requires more than 15 to 20 minutes, politely suggest that they could benefit from an in-store coaching session. Another option is to provide the customer with educational materials and a place to read them in the store and then check back with the customer to see whether they have any questions.
The NHC's role is to educate customers and help them make informed choices. NHCs are never to prescribe products to customers.
Maintaining the Political Campaign Center
Make sure current materials are displayed and old/non-current materials are removed
Keep clean and organized
Maintain pens and other needed materials on the display
For mail-in campaigns, make sure the proper materials are available and the petitions and/or letters are taken care of as directed
Maintaining Customer Literature Files
Ordering books and maintaining the book department and reference books
Maintaining Practitioners List
Update and keep appropriate area stocked with copies
Seek out new complementary medicine practitioners to be listed and submit names to the Nutrition Coordinator for consideration.
Our practitioner list is built through customer and employee referrals. Please see the Practitioner List Principles document available in the online files under "Practitioner List."
Mini-employee education sessions: AKA Take-15s
Conduct in-aisle trainings, called Take-15s, for employees and customers on products and health issues/subjects. Materials will be provided.
Work with the Store Manager and Vitamin Manager to appropriately schedule Take-15 trainings.
Take-15s should be regularly scheduled on one of the days that the NHC is regularly scheduled to be in the vitamin aisle.
Group tours and/or group presentations that take place in the vitamin aisle.
Work with the Store Manager and Vitamin Manager to appropriately schedule group tours and group presentations to take place in the vitamin aisle.
Such tours and/or presentations should never be scheduled without the consent and knowledge of store management.
Other vitamin aisle duties: The Vitamin Manager will direct the NHC to do daily tasks when the NCH is scheduled for floor duty:
The NHC will be accountable to the Vitamin Manager; therefore, communication between the NHC and the Vitamin Manager is extremely important. Assigning of duties must be done taking into account the regular vitamin aisle duties of the NHC that must be completed in a timely manner: Book orders and book department maintenance, customer literature file maintenance, political podium maintenance, mini-employee education sessions (also known as Take-15s), group tours and presentations in the vitamin aisles.
Assigning of duties should take into account that the NHC is the employee with the greatest ability and knowledge to answer customer questions regarding products. Therefore, the NHC position should be utilized accordingly.
NHCs should view their role when performing vitamin aisle duties as one of supporting the efficient functioning of the vitamin department. They should ask themselves what they can do to support the efficient running of the vitamin department and turn to the Vitamin Manager for guidance. Check in with the Vitamin Manager to identify the daily priorities on the floor (shelving product, top stock, etc.).
Work with the grocery and vitamin buyers to make sure the items that you recommend are consistently stocked. Maintain a written list and give the list to the appropriate people.
Register work. All employees are responsible for helping on the register and making sure customers are processed through in a timely manner. Keep in mind this is a very important aspect of customer service.
Be prepared to cover the registers when needed or assigned. (General cash register coverage only, no MOD responsibilities.)
On days designated as vitamin aisle days, be prepared to respond to calls for register assistance (bagging assistance and/or customer questions) as needed to meet customer service needs.
NUTRITIONAL HEALTH COACH DUTIES
40% to 50% of the NHC time will be spent performing NHC duties. During this designated time the NHC is not expected to be on the floor performing vitamin aisle duties. The NHC should work with her or his Store Manager to schedule appropriately so that the Vitamin Department has adequate coverage, customer coaching-session needs are met, and the NHC has adequate time to prepare for coaching sessions and employee trainings (hotline and mini-employee training sessions), and participate in outreach. NHC duties are as follows:
Education of employees and customers about nutrition, products (all products, from vitamins to body care to grocery to produce; this means every product we carry in the stores), and optimal health/healthy lifestyle.
Conduct Health Hotline trainings (Hot Stuff video). Materials will be provided. This is a mandatory responsibility.
Conduct mini-employee education classes AKA Take-15s. 15 minute in aisle trainings during store hours for employees. Materials will be provided. This is a mandatory responsibility. (Please Note: these trainings are still in the process of being developed and therefore may or may not be actively conducted at this time.)
Conduct customer education classes. 4-8 times per month offered at variable times. Materials will be provided. This is a mandatory responsibility. (Please Note: These education classes are still in the process of being developed and therefore may or may not be actively conducted at this time.)
Conduct Book Club discussion group for customers and employees. This is an optional responsibility.
Create and maintain a “Glad You Asked” question center.
This question center can either be a designated dry-erase board or a log book.
When employees have questions that stump them, they can post them at the question center. It is the NHC's responsibility to supply an answer to the question and post the answer where other employees can read it.
If there is a question the NHC is unable to answer in a timely manner, then he or she should send the question via email to the Nutrition Education and Research Department (NERD).
This is a mandatory responsibility.
Book Reviews: NHCs are requested to help review the books carried in our book section. NHCs can receive one free book per month if they provide a book review of the book within one month of procuring the book.
Sit-Down/In-Store Nutritional Health Coaching Sessions
Conduct one-on-one Nutritional Health Coaching Sessions with customers. The goal of the sit-down/in-store Nutritional Health Coaching Session is to provide customers with information on how to live healthier. These are not disease treatment consults.
Work with your Store Manager to regularly schedule (i.e., the same days each week) 1 to 1½ days per week for one-on-one Nutritional Health Coaching Sessions with customers.
The rule of thumb to follow to determine how much time per week should be set aside for conducting and preparing for Nutritional Health Coaching Sessions is as follows: if the number of scheduled sessions is greater than 10 per month, then 1½ days should be scheduled; if the number of sessions is fewer then 10, then 1 day should be scheduled.
The Nutritional Health Coaching Session schedule can consist of three ½ days or 1 full day and one ½ day or two ½ days; the determining factor should be what is the best arrangement to meet customer needs and provide effective health coaching.
Normal health coaching prep work is to be done at the store during your designated Health Coach duties time.
Work with your Store Manager to set up Nutritional Health Coaching Session days and times to best meet customer and business needs.
Keep the Nutrition Coordinator informed of schedule, Nutritional Health Coach Session days and times, and when changes are made.
Participate in outreach/health fairs
If interested, the NHC is encouraged to present educational lectures and participate in community outreach (e.g., health fairs). This is limited to 2 events per month and must be approved by your Store Manager and the Nutrition Program Coordinator. If you wish to participate in more than 2 events per month, this must be approved by your Store Manager and the Nutrition Program Coordinator.
Actively seek out community outreach (e.g., health fairs, store tours, etc.). Communicate with the Special Projects Coordinator and the Nutrition Coordinator. Keep in mind that we need to maintain a minimum of 20 participants.
Work with your Store Manager to schedule around your normal hours
Be sure all your activities combined do not exceed 40 hours. If necessary, work with your manager to reduce hours in other places when you go outside the store for outreach/health fairs so as not to exceed 40 total hours per week.
Coordinate Lectures: If your store participates in holding in-store lectures or has a lecture hall which is off-site from the Home Office, work with the Store Manager to coordinate lecture setup.
Close and break down event
Coordinate book ordering if necessary
Propose speakers to the Home Office lecture coordinator
Stay current with Vitamin Cottage NHC materials
NHCs are required to read and study the material provided as part of the NHC Program.
NHCs are provided with up to one hour per week on the clock, at the store, to read and study this material. This time should be planned accordingly with the Store Manager and Vitamin Manager and should be used within your regularly scheduled hours so as not to exceed 40 hours per week.
Prep-time for NHC-time duties (Hotline trainings, Take 15's, Customer group classes, Outreach events, customer coaching sessions)
2-4 hours per week should be scheduled for the NHC to prepare for Hotline trainings, Take 15's, Customer group classes, Outreach events, and customer coaching sessions.
Fewer hours are needed if the NHC is not doing any of the following: Hotline training (Only 8 per year are conducted), Take 15's, Customer group classes, and Outreach events.
Please see attached Suggested weekly schedule for recommended scheduling of the NHC according to number of hours scheduled to work per week. Please Note: these are only recommended schedules and can and will be changed depending on the needs of the store.
Front End Work. All employees are responsible for helping at the register and making sure customers are processed through in a timely manner. Keep in mind this is a very important aspect of customer service.
Be prepared to help with bagging assistance, assisting customers to their car, and cart checks when needed. Because the NHC is the most knowledgeable person on the vitamin sales floor they should be helping customers in the aisles as the first priority.
NUTRITIONAL HEALTH COACH MEETINGS
NHCs are required to attend the monthly NHC Meetings for ongoing training and education.
Turn in a Monthly Report at the NHC Meeting of your activities, including coaching sessions, continuing education, outreach, status of insurance, and any other nutrition-related activities you have been involved in. Please make copies for the Nutrition Program Coordinator and Vice President of Nutrition Education. This report should also be turned into your Store Manager.
Add any letters or praise reports that you see fit (e.g., comment card or evaluation).
Include the Material Summary and Application Sheet with your Monthly Report.
NHCs should come to these meetings prepared to participate. This involves reading and learning the given material as well as contributing additional ideas and comments.
All prepared materials, i.e., protocols, customer handouts, etc., are the property of Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets, Inc. If your employment with Vitamin Cottage should come to an end, you must return all originals of this property to Vitamin Cottage.
MAINTAINING NUTRITION KNOWLEDGE AND CONTINUING EDUCATION
A professional position is never static. The nutrition field is a dynamic one, with new information constantly coming to light. It is the responsibility of the NHC to stay current with nutrition research, nutrition information and new developments in the field. This is in addition to the education provided by the company. NHCs should stay current with nutrition research by reading, attending seminars, and networking with other nutrition professionals.
If a NHC's degree and/or certification requires continuing education to maintain the degree and/or certification, then the NHC must fulfill those requirements.
If there is no continuing education required for the individual NHCs' particular degree and/or certification, then the NHC must participate in one approved non-company, continuing education type course per year.
Complete the ABC herbal education program every year (either first-time certificate or renewal).
Attend or listen to at least one Vitamin Cottage-sponsored lecture per month or obtain the CD of at least 1 lecture. (For a free CD copy of a lecture, please contact the Home Office Lecture Coordinator.)
Further your nutrition education and knowledge on a continuous basis. Your position as a NHC is one that necessitates continual growth. Exciting and invigorating things are happening in the field of nutrition. You cannot remain static and expect to fulfill all the obligations of the position. You are expected to continue to expand your nutrition knowledge via outside avenues.
Vitamin Cottage will compensate the NHC up to $150.00 per year for continuing education, outside nutrition seminars and/or trainings.
The outside nutrition seminar and/or training must be approved by the Nutrition Program Coordinator prior to the NHC attending.
Proof of payment and attendance must be submitted for reimbursement.
All educational materials presented at the NHC Meetings are expected to be read and studied. NHCs are provided one hour of paid time per week to do so.
Vitamin Cottage encourages NHCs to attend the rep-sponsored product meetings when possible, but this is not a required activity.
LEADERSHIP AND PROFESSIONALISM
We expect NHCs to be professional at all times and provide appropriate leadership for the staff and the store.
Leader effectiveness requires treating people decently while at the same time successfully motivating them toward high performance in their work. One without the other doesn't work.
Positive and calm communication with staff and customers is expected at all times.
Show the highest level of respect and integrity in your day-to-day actions in the store with both employees and customers.
Do your job in a consistent, calm and positive manner. You should present an unflappable demeanor to other employees and to the customers at all times. It is never appropriate for NHCs to yell or express frustration on the sales floor or to yell at an employee or a customer.
As a professional member of the staff of your store, you are a representative of Vitamin Cottage to our employees and our customers; we expect you to represent Vitamin Cottage as a just, fair, respectful, caring, compassionate, and honorable company to work for and shop with. You can do this only if you conduct yourself at the highest level of integrity, responsibility and excellence.
NOT A CONTRACT
This job description is not an employment contract; it does not guarantee you a job or guarantee that the above listed duties are the limit of your responsibilities. Your job and job description are subject to change with and without notice, and you are required to accomplish any and all tasks assigned to you by your store manager or other corporate supervisors that may not be listed in this job description.