PROUD OF THE PAST, EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE
Allan had previously worked in small and medium-sized enterprises, a big corporate PLC and local government. So moving to a retailer like M&S was a bit of a shift in his career.
Not that he was unaware of the company he was joining. “M&S has one of the most trusted brands around and I’ve always been impressed by the service I’ve been given whenever I’ve shopped in store,” he says. “I think most people identify M&S as a traditional company with strong values, a reputation for great customer service and quality products. It’s amazing to be part of a company with such a special heritage.”
We’re certainly proud of our history, which began in 1884 when Michael Marks, a Polish refugee, opened a market stall in Leeds. But that doesn’t mean we’re rooted in the past; tradition is great but you can’t survive on it. Retailers that continue to thrive are those that are willing to look to the future, get ahead of the game and embrace change. And it was at his interview that Allan began to see another side to M&S.
“I was shown the vision of M&S and what we were going to achieve by bringing future technology into our workplace. I was also fascinated by what I heard about Plan A and how M&S considers its impact on the environment.”
So was this Allan’s kind of company? “Since I started in Payroll, what I’ve loved about my career has been the ever-changing environment and the opportunity to introduce efficiencies and new technology to support the service we provide – not to mention the challenge of managing people.”
In Salford Quays, there are around 200 people providing HR and Payroll services to make every moment special for our 80,000 colleagues. Allan’s only been one of the team for about a month, but he’s quickly finding his feet.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I joined M&S, not having worked for a retailer before, but everything has gone brilliantly. Within a couple of days, it felt like I’d found my home. Everyone I’ve spoken to has welcomed me into the organisation and offered support, and my induction has definitely put me on the right path. It might be a busy and challenging day, but you’re surrounded by engaged people who all have a smile on their face.”
Allan believes that people at M&S really do live the company’s values and points to inter-departmental collaboration. “The way in which departments work together has really impressed me. There are mechanisms in place that ensure that the priorities of different departments are channelled towards the single goal of providing great service.”
With his M&S career just beginning, it’s been a case of so far, so good for Allan.