Asda Stores wins Focus Quality Services award for excellence in training

The overall winner of the Personnel Today Awards 2000 is project manager Paul McKinley and the HR team at Asda Stores. This small team showed real vision with a creative approach to management training called Stores of Learning.

They carefully planned their work and produced superb results. The overall judging panel for the Awards rated them highly in all five key judging criteria: innovation & achievement; teamwork; leadership; effective use of resources and the most important factor of all – contribution to the business.

Asda transformed seven typical retail stores into centres of excellence for the training of new managers. The training addressed both generic and individual needs in a real live environment. It taught individuals how to achieve tasks in line with the company’s cultural framework of getting things done with and through others, willingly and well. The idea was to focus on the next generation of managers, as much on the “how” as the “what” and the “when” of the job.

Top-level management buy-in was achieved right from the beginning with the project team reporting directly to Allan Leighton, Asda’s chief executive and the concept was a key aspect of Asda’s corporate strategy. The Stores of Learning project embodies all that is best about learning in the workplace. Not only does it exemplify best practice in the retail industry but these high standards are spreading to other stores, thereby lifting performance at all locations.

The evidence this team provided from participants of the training and the Asda board was impressive. The whole project was delivered with limited resources and is continuing to grow and develop its impact on the business.

There were clear quantifiable benefits in terms of people performance and a significant reduction in employee turnover. More than 1,000 managers have trained in SOLs in the first year of operation.

Stores of Learning outperform all other units by miles, which proves that sharpening the trading and cultural environment directly increases bottom-line profit. This was a truly outstanding achievement. Congratulations to this exceptional team.

Runners up:

Britannic Assurance training department

Nationwide Building Society, retail training

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