Top Bond+Bond Manager stays ahead with training

10 April 2012

Dunedin Bond+Bond Store Manager, Hayden Pierce, started his career in retail when he landed a temporary Christmas role in the Noel Leeming Timaru store in 2007. He then moved to Dunedin to commence a university degree, while continuing to work weekends in the Dunedin Noel Leeming Store.

After graduating, the role of Assistant Manager at Noel Leeming became available. Hayden grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and after a short time he was selected to participate in the company’s Store Management Development programme. After 18 months in the role, he moved to his current role of Store Manager at Bond+Bond Dunedin. ‘Running this store has been an exciting and extremely rewarding experience. I have taken a store that wasn’t contributing positively towards the business and made it the top Bond+Bond store in the region, and one of the top in the business,’ he says.

When asked what Hayden enjoys most about retail, he says that for him it is all about the people he works with and that every day is completely different to the one before. ‘There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your staff succeed under your guidance and training. On the floor coaching is a big part of what I do, and to give one of my staff a handy tip, or a different way of looking at a scenario, and then see them carry this out with their next customer is very rewarding for me,’ he says.

Hayden has no hesitations when expressing his views on training, emphasising that ‘people are essential to your business, and are the key difference between what your store has to offer, and your competitors’. He acknowledges that other factors, such a product and price, also play their part, but in an intensely competitive retail market it really comes down to ‘customer service and experiences that set you apart from the rest. Because retail is an extremely fast moving industry, the more training you can offer your staff the better, as nobody, regardless of how long they have been in retail, knows everything!’.

As a Retail Institute Workplace Verifier, Hayden sees the value and benefits of workplace training, and believes that the retail industry as a whole is lacking in training. ‘Most employers will train their staff members when they start, and that could be all they get for their entire employment. Retail is an extremely fast paced industry. To keep up, and even more importantly, stay ahead, your staff need to have the skills and ability to make this happen’.

Noel Leeming Group has a solid staff induction and training process for new staff. This includes offering staff the opportunity to complete the National Certificate in Retail (Level 2), or the National Certificate in Retail (Level 3) for more senior staff or those looking to move into management roles. Hayden has had a couple of staff complete these programmes, and has seen instant success. ‘Little tricks and tips that they had not thought of, and development in key areas has meant that they have become stronger sales professionals, and more competent staff members,’ he says.

Hayden believes that staff training is one of the best ways to engage employees and to create a culture of learning and development in your business. ‘It creates friendly competition within your business, and results in your staff wanting to learn more and better themselves, as opposed to you telling them they need to do it’.

Hayden Pierce, took out the Wares Awards Young Retailer of the Year 2011.Winning the Wares Awards Young Retailer of the Year, was an extremely rewarding experience for Hayden and one that he is very proud of. ‘It was a very intense process throughout, but to come out on top and get a kiss from Cheryl West (Robyn Malcolm), made it all worthwhile! It was a time to sit back and look at what I had achieved in a reasonably short amount of time, and thank those that have supported me through my career thus far, as if it wasn’t for them, it would not have been possible,’ he says.