I wake up to the sound of my alarm and stumble around in the darkness in an attempt to find the uniform that I prepared last night. Success! I found it. Next task – try to have a shower and breakfast without waking the household. Something I’m usually not as good at.
I meet with my current area management mentor at our first Coles Express site near Brisbane where we have a coffee and map out our day. It’s looking busy! To cover more ground, I’ll be working independently in the afternoon.
We both start responding to the morning emails we have received. These generally range from performance data to the night report (this give us an overview of any support given during the night prior). Last night had no incidents to follow-up, which is always a pleasant start to the morning.
I move on to analysing the performance data that is hitting my inbox. I notice two sites in the area had some out of stocks on key products yesterday. I call the Site Managers at these sites to setup meetings this afternoon.
It’s time to hit the road and start the day. I jump in the car with my mentor to get to our next Coles Express site.
We arrive at our second Coles Express site for the morning. The purpose of this visit is centred on the reward and recognition of a team member who has been getting excellent customer feedback through customer surveys. We prepared a “We’re better with you” card to recognise his outstanding customer service over the last few weeks – a little way for us to say thank you for his great work.
We then drive 15 minutes to our third site; my task here is to conduct a standards audit while my mentor visits other sites. I inform the Site Manager that I’ll be conducting an internal audit and prepare the audit on my iPad. After approximately two and a half hours and one more coffee, I’ve finished the audit. The site has done well and passed.
A coaching discussion then follows the audit, highlighting areas where the site has done well and areas that need improvement. My mentor arrives back at the site.
We will stay at this site and prepare to host the weekly area meeting that 25 Site Managers within the area will access remotely. I am excited and slightly nervous - it is my first opportunity to chair a meeting of this nature. As each manager signs into the session I welcome them. Despite my initial nerves the meeting goes well. I highlight the performance of the area over the last week and where opportunities exist to improve. The meeting should stimulate some positive changes in the area over the coming weeks.
Conducting a round of customer service representative interviews for another store within the area is next on the schedule for the day. For this recruiting round, we will be testing an interview guide that I created, a project that I have been leading to simplify the existing interview process. The interview guide performs well in the interview and I am feeling confident in the extensive testing that has happened over the last several weeks.
We jump back in the car to loop back around to the site where we initially started to pick up my car. On the way I eat the sandwich I packed for lunch today. I am looking forward to the afternoon where I will hit the road to work in the area independently.
I hop into my car and make my way to the next site I have scheduled to visit. My purpose for this visit is to address the problems they have been having with product availability.
I have a coaching discussion with the Site Manager in the office. I explain why it is important to have full availability of key product lines, we discuss the process she has been utilising when ordering and we prepare an action plan to get zero out of stocks – we are looking at getting a significant improvement in the coming weeks.
My next scheduled visit is with another site also having product availability issues. Upon arrival, I meet the newly promoted Assistant Site Manager. We discuss how their training has been going and whether they have been enjoying their new role.
I then have a meeting with the Site Manager to discuss the availability issues. The Site Manager explains that the Assistant Site Manager has been learning to order and consequently, made a mistake two weeks ago. We agree mistakes happen when learning and that the Site Manager will need to extend additional coaching support and review orders in the short-term.
After a busy day of site visits, I have some time in the afternoon to review the recruitment project I have been working on. I look over the data that I have received during the testing phase and am satisfied with the final document.
I send the project to the senior People & Culture team for final review. The project will be rolled out nationally to more than 700 sites across Australia. This marks the official end of my working day.
I have a scheduled phone call with my accelerator coach who focuses on my professional development throughout the graduate program. In particular, we discuss the details and learning objectives of my next rotation within the central operations team in the Store Support Centre in Melbourne.
I get home and decide to go for a short run in the hills surrounding my house while there is still a little light left in the day. Mountain air is the best!
It’s past my bedtime! Time to sleep.