My placement year at LIDL was highly enjoyable - I was given a full introduction to all aspects of area management, from stock control to shop floor coordination. This was made even better by the fact that I was earning a decent salary alongside my experience, which made me enjoy it without financial worries. I was given the option to return to LIDL, something that I have taken up as I enjoyed my placement year so much.
Very valued - this was shown in both the responsibility we were given and the amount of respect shown on a day-to-day basis among colleagues. There were plenty of people from the community working in the store and this helped to foster a sense of common purpose among all staff members. This is especially the case because retail workers normally get treated badly by customers, so there was a sense of camaraderie among all staff members.
A lot of supervision - there was training on all aspects of my job both at the beginning and throughout. Because retail is very much a learning-by-doing industry, there was much more of a hands-off than a classroom based approach to learning. Nevertheless, we were also given some online learning tools. This was useful because it helped to develop the theory of good customer service before we were able to put that theory into practice.
Very busy - LIDL tend to operate efficiently with minimal slack in terms of stock and employees. Therefore, there are generally few workers present at any given time. My job was to coordinate this efficiency but also to keep things operating as a safe level. This was compounded by the fact that I worked across mutliple stores in my region, so I had to use my own transport to get from one place to the other.
A lot of responsibility considering that I was only 120 workers in my area at the time. There were times where I felt a bit overwhelmed on the job. Nevertheless, I always separated my job from my personal life and in retail this is an easy thing to do. I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to demonstrate my the ability to be responsible for mutliple tasks, something that will serve me well going forward.
A lot of skills in people management which will serve me well in future. This is because I had to deal with a range of stakeholders - from customers to colleagues, as well as supply chain managers. There was also a lot of training in patience and other people skills which will prove invaluable for me. Moreover, I learnt how to be empathatic o the needs of other staff members and customers, which is a vital skill.
Great atsmosphere - unlike in many organisations, there was no office politics. Partly, this is due to the the nature of the job - almost entirely on foot. I also think this was because most people have the same attitude to working at LIDL - that is to provide good customer service. This sense of pride in getting things done helps to keep everyone on the same playing field and to treat each other's judgement.
Good organisation - LIDL's area management programme is quite well run since it has been going for many years now. As a year long placement student, I felt as though my application was screened in an efficient manner as they have predetermined values through which to assess candidates and full time employees. Moreover, there was a well established process for feedback all throughout the programme - and this helped us to continuously develop ourselves into capable workers.
A lot of investment was made in me given that LIDL save a lot by employing people with no prior experience in the retail sector, like myself. They invested in me as though I was going to return full time - and indeed I have. This is an efficient way of hiring people since retail is an industry with a fairly high turnover of staff. It is even more the case at the moment, given the current coronavirus pandemic.
Very appealing - a lot of full time area management jobs are given to people who already have experience of working at LIDL. Thus I was able to return to LIDL quite quickly following university. They encourage a lot of internal promotion so it is possible for lowly ranked staff members to progress quickly. I feel like these opportunities will only grow as LIDL strengthens itself in both the UK and international retail market for groceries.
Yes but every month
Placement Year (10 Months+)
30th December 2020