“They provide a good work-life balance.” Simon, Deputy Store Manager
Simon’s whole career to date has been spent in retail. And, since joining Lidl he’s seen it progress at an impressive rate of knots.
What were you doing before you joined Lidl and how did you hear about this job?
I've been in retail since I was 16. I've worked for a number of retailers, clothing stores, and a lot of other places. I found the opportunity online and went for it because my first job was also with a fast-paced discount business, and Lidl is all about doing things efficiently and productively, so I was attracted to the job straight away.
What does your current job entail?
I was only promoted recently so I'm still learning really. But even since becoming a Shift Manager, they started training me up for Deputy Store Manager tasks - for example, doing orders for the store and running the shifts. Basically, you have to know people's strengths and weaknesses and get to know their work styles. But I think my new job is going to be about making rotas and all the computer based jobs as well.
What’s a typical day like for you at present?
I firstly look at the rota to see when people are starting, when they’re leaving and who's on my shift. I then schedule breaks based on that. Then we’ll go work with the team to reset the store (tidy it up). If it's a morning shift, we'll be cleaning up before we open and making sure everything looks good. And if we're on an evening shift, we do the same in the middle of the day. After that we do our due diligence checks - looking for best before dates and checking fresh goods such as fruit and veg. Whatever we can’t sell but is still in good condition, we collect for charity in the evening. We also process deliveries and restock and in between that I’ll be making new stock orders.
What’s your biggest achievement in the time you've been there?
I would have to say the rate of progression. People from other areas of the business have noticed this too. When I was going for my last interview, there was a guy there who looks after our inventory for quite a big region, he remembered me from the days when I was a Customer Assistant and mentioned to my Area Manager how impressive my progression was. The Store Managers I've worked with have always been really supportive - they’d pump me up and prepare me for interviews. They have put a lot of faith in me and invested a lot of time.
So is that what makes you stay. Is that what makes Lidl different?
I’ve left previous jobs because every day was very similar. They would put you down one aisle, or a few aisles, or you'd be on the tills all day. If you were in the bakery, you'd be in the bakery all day. At Lidl, you need to know about everything in the store. I think it's the range of jobs, the range of duties that we've got to do from day-to-day that makes me stay. It keeps me busy - and I enjoy that.
What about your work-life balance?
Yes, it’s good. I don't really do night shifts anymore, but they like you to be fully flexible. So if somebody drops out of a shift, they like people who are happy to jump in if - of course they give you enough notice. They tend to see what shifts you roughly prefer to be on and they try and work around your preferences. Between shifts, I do feel like I get the right rest period, plus a couple of days off a week. And, when it comes to holidays, you only need to book it three weeks in advance which is great.
And the training and development?
We’ve got this new thing - a little touchscreen computer instore that can basically teach you from beginning to end on what the job role is. They have tests at the end of each section and after each section, you get taken onto the shop floor and shown the job in reality on the section you were tested on. They've even got a section for training managers. Once you get to manager level, you get taken out to a Regional Distribution Centre and you do your courses there with people from Head Office.
Finally, what four words would you use to describe Lidl?