The first training day of our management development programme the HN Academy has taken place! As the Southern Cohort gathered in our Knightsbridge store for a day focused on planning, organising, delegation and communication. We rushed to the scene to discuss how the programme has been working out for our delegates so far. With several promotions coming their way as well as smoothly handling situations on the work floor, it seems like their efforts are already paying off!

Cara Pratt, Marketing Creative Team Fashion Assistant, Head Office

What are you going through today?
This morning was all about planning and organising and this afternoon is all about communication and delegation. We learned the Smart Technique, which is about setting  a task and then coming up with stages to make sure it’s achievable. We were also introduced to the Gannt chart, a visual tool to help plan and organise effectively. Instead of theory, we get all these useful tools that we can actually apply in our daily work, so that’s really helpful!

Mary Kenny, Cash Office Assistant, Birmingham

Tell us about how you had to prepare for this session?
Following the personality shapes module we completed at our Introduction Day, we had to analyse how personality shapes interacted in our department, write an action plan and review this with our manager. I organised three team building activities in my store, called ‘Facts and Fiction’ (distinguishing facts from fiction), ‘Power Tower’ (building a tower with a 100 cups) and ‘Deck Head’ (a task game with post-its). The exercises showed how important clear communication is to all of us.

Rogerio Barbosa, Senior Receptionist, OXO

How have the things you’ve learned helped you do your job so far?
As I deal with a lot of busy shifts at OXO, the new planning and organising strategies I’ve learned have been very helpful. I really like that these tools such as the Gantt chart are not only useful for work, but life in general!


Robin Froeliger, Assistant Buyer, Head Office

What has been your experience on the programme so far?
The programme has really helped me develop as I’ve been promoted from Buying Administrator to Assistant Buyer! It’s a great way to meet new people, share ideas and gain new insights and skills. The group activities are very fun and engaging. It’s challenging to do a lot of self-reflection because that’s something I don’t do that often, so you are learning a lot of new things about yourself.


Conor Woods, Isabel Marant Brand Consultant, Knightsbridge

How has this programme supported you so far?
I was promoted from the Designer Shoes department to becoming a Brand Consultant for Isabel Marant! Prior to the start of the course me and my Manager set becoming a Brand Consultant as one of my stepping stones and it’s really cool that I’ve achieved this now. As I can be quite shy, this programme is also really helping me to push myself to be more outgoing, providing me with communication tools that I can take on to the shop floor and in my personal life.


Maisie Rees, Assistant Display Manager, Birmingham

What’s the most satisfying and challenging part of the course so far?
This course has been really helpful as I’ve been promoted from Display Assistant to Assistant Display Manager! Most satisfying is that it helps me to find a managing style that I feel comfortable and confident with and that allows me to set a good example in my role. The course is also confronting in the sense that you find out things about yourself you need to work on, but knowing your weaknesses allows you to improve them so we can all become better managers in the end.

So what’s next for our delegates? Returning to their jobs, they have to create a brief on any subject matter for their team, implementing the communication cycle they have learned. We look forward to catching up  about the results in the next training session!