Nicola was attracted to Lidl from her instore research. She admired how we operated and what our people said about us. She wanted to work in a company that put its people and customers first. And she’s proud she’s helping our people go on to do bigger and better things. As will she.
What were you doing before you joined Lidl?
I worked within telecommunications for a couple of years, but I started out in another retail company on their grad scheme. I worked with them for about eight years in Dublin, Belfast, and England as well. I’m also a Magistrate outside of work. I’ve been with Lidl three years now.
What attracted you to Lidl?
I think it was the brand. I'd started to read a lot about the company and visiting the stores. I liked the business model. I liked the value for money and the quality of the product - particularly the fresh fruit and veg and meat and poultry. I wanted to work for a company who looked after their people and saw them as one of the most important parts of the business.
Can you give an overview of what the team does?
The Warehouse is a 24-hour operation. The Goods In team brings all the stock in and puts it all away ready for the Selection team to start picking. In Selection, we pick ambient, fruit and veg, chiller, meat, poultry and fish, freezer and non-food. Once they've been picked, we move them over into the Goods Out department, which makes sure the stock is delivered to the store on time. We work with 3rd party hauliers who deliver all our stock for us and also on the ‘returns from store’, which is store waste or recycling.
What does your role entail?
I’m a Team Manager for both the Selection and Goods Out departments, so I've got a team of about 200 people. I enjoy motivating them and making sure we work together. We might have three separate departments but we're all ultimately responsible for one goal, which is to service the customers that come into our stores every day. It's about making sure the team understand what we do and why we do it; how best we can do it and we strive to be better every day. People development is a main part of my role – to manage the team, support them in their development, recruitment and progression within the company.
What does good management look like to you?
I think communication is one of the top priorities. You can't do everything yourself, so you've got to trust your team to be able to do things for you and communicate what it is we're trying to achieve and why. Developing your team members is critical too.
What do you enjoy?
I think seeing people develop and seeing people enjoy coming to work is probably the highlight for me. I've always wanted to make sure my team are happy and well supported, but know what it is we need to deliver, because there's still a job to do at the end of the day.
What’s your team like?
Passionate about Lidl. I think that's the culture we've developed. We have a good team ethic. We want to get the job done to the best of our ability and continue to improve. We really focus a lot on the principals that we have as a business and we try to make sure this is what we live by every day. Whether it's communicating; developing our teams; remaining efficient and dynamic; creating trust and acting fairly or being a role model to the team… If we do all of those, the business results will come.
What plans do you have for the future?
I think there are lots of opportunities. Whether that's staying within Logistics or moving back to Sales where I started as an Area Manager, it’s about progressing on to the next level. Perhaps as a Head of Logistics, Head of Sales or Head of Admin… I can definitely see that there are opportunities in the future to take on something like that.
What’s the work-life balance like?
I'm also a Magistrate in my personal life as well so I'm able to balance being a magistrate and do my current role, so I'm very lucky to be able to do that as well. You know you have a team that's there 24 hours a day, it doesn't rely on me being available 24 hours a day. I'm very happy with that.
Why would someone want to join Lidl?
I would say whatever you're looking for – from 10 hours a week to a full-time career – there are huge opportunities available. The company looks after the staff and future progression opportunities are there in store, in the warehouse and in head office.
What four words would you use to describe Lidl?