This latest expansion has been met positively by the local community who can not only expect the prospect of additional jobs working for a market leading company, but also a full ‘living wage’ – putting Lidl’s shop floor workers at a distinct wage advantage when compared to other local supermarket competitors. Good pay and additional employment opportunities are not the only reason for the local community to be happy. Lidl also operate fantastic in house training schemes, which when delivered well, provides employees with the skills to do well in future roles regardless of whether or not they remain with Lidl.
Adopting a ‘layered’ training approach, which encompasses the whole business entity, Lidl centralises training planning into a single dedicated in-house department. Staff within this department are responsible for identifying training needs and developing training events, materials and systems in response.
Direction and tools flow from this department into the stores and supporting areas. Within the stores, Lidl operates a ‘Buddy’ system which ensures that new recruits are given on hand support within their immediate working vicinity making individuals who have the skills to mentor and support accessible. This approach is key to all businesses who wish to integrate their staff effectively into the business. It enables them to gain key skills on the job and avoids undue classroom attendance.
From the ‘Buddy’ system, Lidl then have formal ‘Training Mentors’ who are responsible for supporting store managers in the roll out of staff training initiatives, all of which then feeds into the Regional Training Managers who are responsible for overseeing training on a regional level and promoting a healthy learning and development culture across the business.
Lidl may be a cut price store, but a training approach such as the one outlined above at its core, certainly puts Lidl on a par with the non-cut price stores. Training flows from all levels of the business and is a key aspect of company culture and delivery.
Walker Information (an Intelligence Consultancy firm) identified training programmes as a key retention tool. Staff who feel that they are being valued through training and development are more likely to stay within their roles. With ‘happiness’ being an emotional contaigent, store workers are consequently more likely to impact positively on their customers; leading to greater customer satisfaction.
From a training professional perspective, we therefore welcome the news of an impending second store in Yeovil as every business counts when promoting a culture of learning and skill development within the South West.