Wellbeing and development are inextricably linked

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We spoke to Tracey Hugkulstone, retail training and development specialist, about why she’s passionate about being there #forthefour in the workplace and how that’s linked with development.

“In my most recent role as a talent development partner, I had the opportunity to mentor new and junior merchandisers in the business and in doing so build an internal pipeline of talent. Having been a merchandiser for ten years, I brought to this role a blend of experience and my passion for developing people and their wellbeing.

“I always look to the 'motivating factor', best described as the 'why' of doing something. One of my motivating factors is around making a difference and being able to see the outcome of this.

“There are literally tons of wellbeing initiatives out there but one of the ways we can build wellbeing is simply through connecting and communicating. I decided to implement a ritual that I believed would influence wellbeing and enable me to make a difference.

“The crux of this was that it did not stop there, I made a point of chatting to them again, and recalling the conversation we had. No matter what we chatted about, how short, how long, I came away from this knowing that each colleague I had done this with felt seen, heard, and they felt valued. As time went on I got to know more about their aspirations, what they wanted to learn, how they wanted to learn…which enabled my role in talent development to be more impactful.

“Soft skill development has the power to improve relationships, mental health, and our overall wellbeing. To build a sustainable pipeline of talent in merchandising, I knew that one of the cogs in the wheel would be input from the experienced merchandisers and their team leaders. I knew for certain that their combined knowledge, skills, and experience would create a rich culture of shared learning. However, many were new to leading teams and to coaching.

“To build a supportive and productive learning environment, I had to facilitate the development of their soft skills. These included initiatives like giving recognition, giving feedback, and having a difficult conversation. The development of these soft skills brought about a change in communication, it created something special that enabled an ongoing conversation around development and wellbeing. For me, the measurable was to see this young talent after a year on the program, expressly describing how they had not only grown as merchandisers but how they had grown as people, and how being seen, heard, and valued was integral to their wellbeing and their development.”

Join Tracey and be there #forthefour!

Find out more about our event and campaign at retailtrust.org.uk/four