Training aid for Waitrose managers

Waitrose Dorking Partners 1977
The Gazette
Training on the shop floor 1979
John Lewis Partnership archives

Waitrose trainers became film makers as a result of an idea put forward at a Waitrose branch managers’ meeting.

Managers asked if they could be supplied with some visual aids to help stimulate discussion during training periods. They could now make use of tape/slide programmes, each lasting about ten minutes. The tape and slides were slotted into a small portable screen unit, which looked very like a portable television set.

The programmes were produced entirely by members of the Waitrose training department. They wrote the scripts and took photographic slides to accompany the commentary, which they then recorded and synchronised in an outside studio.

Not only was the cost reduced but the portability of the screen units meant that each operations group could share a set without there being any transport problems.

Titles available at the time were: Know your Partnership, Know your Waitrose, Know your Hygiene, Know your shelf filling, and Know your health and safety at work. Others being produced included: Councils and Committees, Fruit and vegetable presentation and Security and appraisal systems. Each staff trainer was given a topic to suit his or her particular interest areas.

Mr D J Mansfield, branch manager of Waitrose Dorking, one of the managers who had used a training cassette during a discussion group, was very enthusiastic: He commented that the cassette not only made the training more interesting and memorable, but because the accompanying slides were of Partners in various branches and Waitrose head office it gave Partners who might only have seen their branch an idea of what other areas of Waitrose looked like.

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