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‘House of Learning’ portal – a password-protected website for staff. Te move has saved the company time and money, with classroom training cut by 50 per cent and a decline in physical workshops. Tere are now more than 500 pieces of on demand content that people can access. Te new portal, launched to

retail managers and store support centre employees around a year ago, will be rolled out to all House of Fraser employees from March. One of the aspects of the new approach is a move towards training videos and e-learning which can be distributed and accessed on an individual basis, in a bid to provide greater choice and flexibility.

in-house and delivered internally, that was also a special moment”, he added. Wins in the TJ Awards will enhance the credibility and standing of the team which, in turn, will help with stakeholder engagement, according to Stirzaker-Philips. A greater use of technology, such as video and digital content, in place of a traditional classroom approach, has seen his team expand from ten to thirteen in the past few years. Tere has been a significant shift away from delivering workshops to train staff, towards provision via an online platform. Te result has seen the creation of the retailer’s

Having a team of people who

are “ambassadors of learning” and collaborate with stakeholders is vital. “Yes, of course businesses are

interested in individual development but also it’s about showing where you can add value and where learning can really drive business results – whether directly in sales or saving time through reducing classroom training so it impacts on productivity.” Stirzaker-Philips goes on to

cite one example where people now get product training via virtual classrooms, without having to leave their stores. “We’ve got examples where certain products and brands that we’ve talked about on the training have had sales uplift of up to 30 per

We have 62 locations across the UK, so being able to give people access to learning at the point of need is where we can have the biggest impact going forward

“We have 62 locations across the

UK, so being able to give people ac- cess to learning at the point of need is where we can have the biggest impact going forward,” says Stirzaker-Philips.

Right people, right skills

When it comes to what makes a suc- cessful team, having the right people with the right skills and mindset is vital. “Everyone is very commercial, very customer focused, with a real passion for the business,” he says. At House of Fraser, the L&D

team has gone from being a function that delivers training to being “part of the business to help drive results”. Part of its success is “getting that

balance between supporting individu- als in the business who want to learn and develop to reach their potential while at the same time making sure that everything we are doing is com- mercial, adding value and is helping the business progress and achieve its strategic aims”, Stirzaker-Philips says. He adds: “In the past our

focus was more around individual development and we didn’t have that commercial edge as a team. I think that’s probably the biggest shift we’ve made in the past three years.”

cent directly after the training.” In terms of the leadership devel-

opment programme, the team started from scratch just three years ago and now has hundreds of delegates attend- ing courses each year. Te results have been impressive, with 97 per cent of delegates still working at House of Fraser – and it is supported by staff at the very top of the organisation. Stirzaker-Philips comments:

“What people like about House of Fraser is that there’s a uniqueness about it, there’s a real entrepreneurial spirit about working in the organi- sation that I don’t think you get at some bigger retailers. We wanted to make sure that was represented in the leadership programme. “Rather than aiming to produce

‘cookie cutter leaders’ operating in the same way, the leadership pro- gramme is about wanting people to completely be themselves and be authentic and genuine.”

TJ awards 2017

The TJ Awards 2017 will be open for entries in April. To find out more about the other 2016 winners visit

| February 2017 | 41

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