Following the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak, businesses across the world have been looking at new ways to work. While many were forced to close, those industries which were deemed essential brought in restrictions to keep their customers and staff safe, while keeping their doors open. Self-Storage is one of those industries deemed as essential and as such, SureStore have been making full use of our innovative, modern and high-tech facilities so that we can provide our customers and chosen charities the freedom and peace of mind to be able to work from their secure spaces.
This isn’t the only way SureStore needed to think outside the box, however. Like many businesses enjoying a period of growth, we are expanding our teams in the North and Midlands and were excited about bringing in new staff members for training and induction, some of which had received job offers and were all set to start working with us when the lockdown was imposed. Typically, this means joining an induction process which would see the candidates travelling around all of our stores as well as into our training classrooms so that they can learn everything they need to know about the company, our systems and processes and the industry itself. How to carry the training and induction from lockdown? We love a challenge!
When Natalie joined us in early May, lockdown was in full effect. The week before her first day, Regional Director Jon Gardner dropped a package to her home containing all of her induction literature and a laptop preloaded with all the training software. The wave from either end of Natalie’s garden path was as close as Natalie came to meeting the team for the next three weeks!
Once all hooked up, Natalie started daily Zoom sessions with Jon and company Director, Paul Whittaker, taking her through her induction training. Here’s how Natalie was feeling about this unusual start:
“At first, I was nervous learning a new job and industry from home, however it was such a great experience. It was more personal - there wasn’t as much pressure on me as I was able to ask my questions with two people there, so a wealth of knowledge shared. Paul and Jon don’t usually do the induction together, so it was great to have both of them to learn from.
“The sessions were done by video link in a relaxed environment in my own home, which I feel allowed me to focus more. The learning was done in bite size chunks which enabled me to take all the information in, go away to digest it, then take the next bit on. The tasks / exercises that were set in-between sessions were helpful to keep me going; they were based on what had just been learned so it allowed me to put processes into practice online, which helped me embed the information much easier. I feel this this is much better than sitting in a classroom for hours on end.”
So, it seems as if Natalie’s induction approach may have been better for her as a learner than long days of classroom-based work, which is great news. While we at SureStore concerned ourselves with the experience being somehow less useful, we may have been forced to stumble upon a new means of delivering our induction training in the future, lockdown or not!
Despite not being able to experience the social side of the induction, visiting all stores across the North and Midlands and meeting her new colleagues, Natalie was given the opportunity to “meet” everyone as Director Paul held a daily Zoom meeting with the entire team at 1pm as an exercise in team building and keeping everyone focused and happy. Natalie was introduced to everyone during these meetings:
“The daily Zoom meetings with everyone were really beneficial, to meet the team, get a feel of what is going on in other stores and areas, and everyone made me feel welcome and part of the team. It made me even more excited to get in store and get stuck in!”
Before long, Natalie was in store, putting everything she had learned into practise and delighting her customers.
“It was great to finally meet the team! I am now working in my own stores across Bolton and Bury. I am still learning but I feel the journey so far has helped me kick start my career in the industry. I already feel confident, as if I have been with the business a lot longer (in a very good way!). I can’t wait to learn more and grow with the business!”
We want to take this opportunity to thank Natalie for such a great attitude to this most unusual start and wish her every success with her career in SureStore!
Meet Natalie our newest team member!