Having started out in optics in 1996, Specsavers Morden store manager Christian Halstead says he did not envisage that, 21 years later, he would still be working in the same field.
‘Back then I had very different ideas about what I wanted to do with my life,’ he says. ‘But for one reason or another, this was not to be the case.
‘I thought, “I'm good at what I do in optics, let’s make a career of this”. So I did and I have not looked back since.’
Putting customers first
Christian has been part of Specsavers for just over 10 years and has spent the last three years working with the team at Specsavers Morden.
Describing his daily duties, he says: ‘I manage the store as well as helping all my staff with their Colleague Development Pathway Progression, making sure I have the best well-trained staff in the business.
‘I also like to keep my hand in dispensing the more complex prescriptions and find it extremely satisfying when a customer has come in with a particularly complex prescription and we have provided them with a fantastic pair of glasses that they absolutely love.’
Best of the best
Christian says he takes great pride in working with a very ‘employee-focused’ team, which was recognised recently when Specsavers Morden was awarded Platinum Employer status.
The store received the accolade after being externally accredited for excelling in key areas of people management standards, including employee communications, engagement and learning and development.
Christian adds: ‘I’m very grateful to have the directors that I do because they are extremely supportive of their staff and encourage us to move upwards within the business, which I have taken hold with both hands, and I am currently in the process of completing ‘Pathway’, my journey to becoming a director.’