Ritchie turned to Lidl as he’s heard we were doing things differently. He recognised how much we care about, and invest in, our people. His hard work and dedication are earning him the respect and rewards he deserves.
What were you up to before joining Lidl?
Prior to joining Lidl, I was at the UK’s largest supermarket for 12 years in various managerial positions. It wasn’t the same company I joined. I was looking to change.
What attracted to Lidl?
I'd heard some good things about Lidl. I'd seen the press and it was up-and-coming. I'd read quite a few positive reviews online from current employees and I decided to look on the Lidl website and applied there. Three interviews later, I was joining the business. That was three years ago.
What have you been doing since you joined?
I joined as an Assistant Store Manager. I worked my way up to Store Manager then I thought, "I fancy a change of pace, I want to see the logistical side of the operation." That's how I ended up being an ATM in Goods In. It's brilliant being able to see the other side of the business and the impact you make.
What would be a typical day for you?
I manage a team of around 25 people at any given time. I'm there to manage the intake of stock. We take in millions of pounds worth of stock weekly, and it’s my job to make sure that my team is checking and receiving that stock accurately and then to see that it’s moved to the relevant area, so that it’s ready for pick. On top of that it involves talking to the team about what’s gone well, what we think they need to improve on, and maybe set individual targets for that person. It's about empowering and developing my team.
What’s your biggest challenge?
The big challenge for us is that we rely on suppliers. Things don’t always arrive, and if the stock’s not coming when it should be, it puts pressure on other areas. You need to rally the troops up. It's important to lead by example and say, "we can do it,” so that they rise to the challenge.
What qualities does it take to be a good ATM?
I'd say you need to be fair, you need to be consistent and you need to be good at developing people. You need to be good at creating trust. I think that's a big thing between managers and employees. And being a leader not a manager. For me, a manager is someone who points and says "do, do, do". A leader is someone people want to follow.
What's the Lidl culture like?
It’s almost like we employ a different league of people. We’re all "we're here, we're one team, we work together, we want to achieve the goal, we want to better ourselves and if that's great… let's make this excellent". There's always that drive to strive to do better. Everyone’s behind that.
What makes Lidl different?
Lidl cares about their people. If you look after your people and you look after your profits – I do genuinely believe that’s the big difference.
Why would someone want to do your role?
I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of my work. There are lots of days where I stand there at the end of the day and I have to smile to myself because you think, "it's been a good day today and everybody's come in, worked, and done a really good job."
What’s next for you?
I'd like to be an Area Manager or Regional Training Consultant, or even a Team Manager within Logistics. That was part of the reason why I decided I wanted to move here because it leaves my options open. I'm excited where my future's going to take me.
Can you think of 4 words to describe Lidl?
Efficient, dynamic. Caring. Respectful.