Early training helps retailer retain workers

A fast-track training programme that gives graduates management experience
at an early stage has helped supermarket group Budgens compete for staff
against its bigger rivals.

The training overhaul has seen junior management turnover fall from 30 per
cent two years ago, to about 4 per cent today.

HR director Paul Daynes said the high turnover of management staff and a
lack of available, high-quality replacements led to a greater emphasis on
internal development.

"We can’t compete for people with the big supermarket groups in terms
of wages, but we can compete in our training and development," he said.

The firm operates small supermarkets and has about 6,500 staff. It needs 100
new managers annually to sustain an expansion plan of 20 store openings a year.

Daynes said the company put a huge emphasis on developing existing staff and
attracting new managers with the promise of high-level experience. The firm now
takes on 30 graduates a year, and allows them to manage a store within 18
months.

As a result, the group now has an 80 per cent retention rate for the first
year, with 65 per cent still around after five years.

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