Every day’s busy and varied at the UK’s biggest retailer

What does your job involve?

Leading the training agenda and looking after leadership and general management training.

How many courses/events do you organise?

During the year, we can to train 1,600 managers and directors, as well as our ongoing leadership training that happens every day in stores.

Describe a typical working day.

Varied and busy – it can include: working on what’s next for leadership training, designing events for high-potential groups, benchmarking best practice with other organisations and coaching my team.

What course/training are you working on now?

Influencing, coaching, leadership at board level and ‘academies’. These are intensive, off-the-job training events for high-potential staff.

How and why did you get into training?

An opportunity to broaden my CV from generalist HR 15 years ago turned into my passion, with the realisation that the work I do makes a big difference both to individuals and our business.

What’s the best or most memorable training event you’ve attended?

The first pilot of what became Tesco’s flagship leadership programme. It was amazing, unexpected and life-changing.

What’s key to putting on a successful course?

Getting the purpose and objectives clear, making sure there’s a personal win as well as meeting the business objective, making it relevant and practical, and having great training deliverers.

How do you measure the impact of training?

Through our staff survey ‘Viewpoint’. We ask a range of questions, such as: “Are you treated with trust and respect?” We also have business-related measures such as reduced absenteeism.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Probably at Tesco, as it has given me a fantastic career over the last 20 years and, with the growth of our business, there’s always something new to be discussed. The other option I might think about is working for myself.

When you were younger, what did you want to be?

I wanted to be some sort of diplomat in Europe, so I learned to speak French. However, most of the people who know me would say I am far too outspoken to be a diplomat!

What career advice would you give to someone setting out in training/L&D?

Know what you stand for, be true to yourself, understand the business you’re in, and work hard.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Audrey Hepburn, because she’s my Dad’s favourite actress.

Who’s your training/learning hero?

No single person, but generally people who can inspire me to think differently and be the best I can.

What’s the best piece of training/L&D advice you’ve been given?

Make it relevant and enjoyable, but remember people will only make the change if they want to – you can’t do it for them.

Do you want to feature in Careerfile? If so, e-mail: training.editor@rbi.co.uk. If you’re featured, we’ll send you a cheque for £40.

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