A milestone in Specsavers’ people development scheme has been reached with the Swansea store becoming the 350th in the UK to be accredited as a ‘Platinum Employer’.

Nationwide rollout

The externally-ratified initiative is to be rolled out across more than 800 stores nationwide. It was designed by employee engagement specialist, Korn Ferry Hay Group, to support the recruitment and retention of high-calibre employees.

Stores are assessed in five key people management areas, including recruitment and induction, performance management and reward, and learning and development.

Stephen Jones, director of the Swansea store, says: ‘For us in Swansea, the Platinum Employer process has delivered noticeable differences in teamwork, collaboration, communication and engagement. Everybody has realised their career is taken seriously here and they are important to the workings of the store.

'This process has made us an even closer team, as everyone is openly discussing their personal development.’

Dawn McIntyre, HR Director for UK/ROI Specsavers says the primary focus of the scheme has always been to deliver an exceptional employee experience, consistently for all of Specsavers 18,000 people.

‘Platinum Employer is intended to give each Specsavers store owner guidelines and support them in achieving best practice and making Specsavers a truly great place to work’, she says.

Commitment to staff development

The Swansea store is committed to its staff development, from floor staff to management. Optical assistants are supported to become licensed dispensing opticians and team leaders are encouraged to start a learning and management pathway, which leads to them becoming a qualified store director.

Mr Jones says the conversations between management and staff, which were necessary to achieve Platinum Employer status, have greatly benefited the store’s running and team morale.

‘It was quite a process, with more than 50 people in our store, but well worth it. I take my hat off to my manager Tracy, who led the team through the project and will continue to make sure we stay at Platinum level.

‘It was greatly beneficial to hear what people think - you've got to listen to all feedback, good and bad, to be able to put change and improvements into practice.’

All Swansea store information