Having been at Lidl 11 years, Kelly started as an Area Manager and has now worked in trading compliance for seven years. She currently works part-time to fit around childcare and has appreciated the support Lidl has provided.
Where you were doing before you joined Lid?
I've been with Lidl for 11 years, but I went into retail straight from uni. I joined Lidl as a trainee District Manager, or Area Manager as they're called now, and it's gone from there. I came to do a secondment in head office in audit, then went back to be Area Manager, and then came into Trading Compliance about seven years ago.
Can you give an overview about your role?
Trading compliance is responsible for the majority of operational regulatory matters including food safety, health and safety, trading standards and fire safety for all the Lidl stores, RDCs and offices. On one level we deal with the proactive aspects, so we produce the Trading Law Manuals and all our health and safety procedural risk assessments. We also do the reactive stuff where we deal with enforcing agencies, such as councils, the police and fire officers. Basically, when things go wrong, we get involved and we deal with the authorities. We try and avoid things going wrong, but if they do we learn from that and then we will put things in place to try and prevent these things from happening. You do feel like you're having a positive impact in the long run. It's very varied and interesting. Every day there's a new challenge.
Could you give some examples of the type of things you deal with?
On the proactive side, we could be working with other departments on the implementation of new procedures on new equipment in store. On the reactive side, we could be dealing with an accident investigation, or perhaps we’ll get a complaint from an Environmental Health Officer. It could be anything. It's really, really varied.
How do you work as a team?
We’re a small team, so we just work together and use our expertise, knowledge and training and we take things up as we need to. We have people that are more specialist in certain areas. I deal a lot with licencing at the moment and I used to deal with pest control. Whilst others know more about asbestos or Legionella. Yet we can all deal with something should it come up.
What’s been your biggest achievement?
Personally, the proudest moment for me was when I came back from maternity leave and began my career journey as a working mother. Coming back into a work environment after a year off is very difficult. It's a big adjustment coming back from being a mum to coming back into work. I'm really proud of that and I'm really proud of the way Lidl and the team supported me.
What about training and development?
There are always aspects that you can learn more about. For instance, I went on a course the other day for conflict management. We do external courses as well such as food safety courses, asbestos courses and Legionella courses. It is a requirement of our role that we are up to date with new or modified legislation and best practice.
What are your plans for the future?
I'd like to stay with Lidl because I think it's a very good company. I would like to expand my knowledge in different areas and maybe participate some experience exchanges with other departments. But I’m happy here in Trading Compliance.
What’s the culture like at Lidl?
It’s very supportive. I think in terms of the HR aspect, Lidl's come a long way with flexible working, their maternity policy and supporting mothers coming back to work. I've gone from full time, before I had my baby, to part time. I work three days a week now. And obviously, I really do enjoy working with the team, they're a great bunch of people. We work well as a team together. When it's hard and you're running behind, they will always help you. It's that kind of team.
Could you give me four words that describe LIDL?
Challenging, rewarding, fast-paced and exciting.