When the opportunity to join Lidl within fresh produce arose, Shirin knew it was meant to be. As a vegetarian and keen gardener, it’s put her passion for Fresh Produce to good use. She loves the buzz of the team and the fact that there’s never a dull moment.
What were you doing before joined Lidl?
I was born in Vienna and moved to South Africa when I was ten. Having completed a bachelor’s in marketing communication, I worked as a Photographer’s Assistant before moving to London in 2016 when a recruitment company came across my CV. That’s when I applied to Lidl as an Administrator in Fresh Produce.
What attracted you?
It seemed perfect for me as I speak German and I’m a vegetarian, so I relate very well to the products as I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. And then there’s the plants and flowers too. I like gardening and having flowers in the house, so I found it all very interesting.
What does your role entail?
I am in charge of making sure that the team is happy and that all the daily tasks are done, as well as keeping a good relationship with our warehouses and our suppliers. We’re constantly on the phone with them and having a close relationship makes our daily processes a lot easier. I also review the team’s work before it goes out, checking that a price change has been set up correctly for example. I also get to work on projects, such as improving manual processes and saving hours of work for the team as well as the warehouses. I’m here to support the Administration Team and make the everyday working life as smooth as possible.
What do you think is your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is to maintain relationships, as we've got 12 regions, and it’s possible for them to all call you at the same time. You need to keep calm and level-headed. The goal is that all the produce in store is sold, so that our customers are happy and then we are happy. We have a motto in our team, it's ‘one team, one dream’. We all work together to get the job done. We have Regional Distribution Centres that contact us as well as suppliers, so it can be very busy and loud. You do the same tasks every day, but every day is different and comes with a new challenge.
What’s been your biggest achievement?
I’d say improving processes. We’ve cut a process that used to take five hours each day, down to a couple of hours. It’s not just the reduced time that’s of benefit, it’s also made it easier for people and more user-friendly.
What sort of qualities do you think somebody would need in order to do what you do?
You have to be hard-working, willing to go the extra mile and have a passion for fresh produce. We are a growing company, and Fresh Produce is constantly growing. You need to be passionate about your job and the company but also, it’s good to enjoy your work and have some fun while doing a great job.
What makes Lidl different to everybody else?
There’s lots of room to grow and to progress quite quickly. If you work hard, you get rewarded. There are great mentors, but there’s lots of freedom. It lets you become a person within Lidl and show the strengths that you have. It means we all like coming into work. Lidl takes really good care of their employees. You're not just another employee.
If you were to describe Lidl in four words, what would you say?
Hardworking. Fun. Passionate. Goal-driven.