My name’s Miles Beasley, I work for Waitrose, Sudbury, I’m the Branch Manager there. I joined the Partnership on 22nd September 2008. It had been quite a long process really, it actually started nine months previous. I hesitate to call it a recruitment process, it felt more like a consultation really. Had three meetings in total with representatives from Waitrose and also spent a day in Waitrose, Godalming in Surrey, really understanding what the Partnership was about. And throughout the process, it was really about me understanding what I could bring to the Partnership and what the Partnership could provide me with and it was noticeably different from any recruitment process I’ve been through because it was all about whether I was the best fit for the business and vice versa.
The bit that takes the pride on to the new level is when I see individuals, probably particularly the management team that I’m working with at the moment, having the time and opportunity to develop as individuals. The Partnership isn’t looking at today or tomorrow, it’s very much thinking about the future and when I see my management team grow as individuals, it makes me very proud.
I was recruited along with seven or eight other branch managers who’d previously worked for other retailers, we were very much put together as a group and we attended a development workshop. And I guess the development workshop, when I look back on it now, was really interesting, and 12 months later I really feel as we’ve continued to meet on a six weekly, two monthly basis, we’ve developed as a team. And that’s really come from sharing our frustrations, benchmarking where we are as individuals, learning from each other and being very open and honest with each other about how we can develop ourselves. A lot of the skills I’ve been able to pick up in the last year, I’ve been able to deliver to my team, or support my team’s development. So for me, what I’ve learnt I’ve been able to pass on and that’s really, really important to me and that’s the bit I take great pride in.