A number of Scottish retailers were among the delegates at a four-day residential training programme hosted by Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for Spar stores in the south west.
The Inspire! course, staged at the Cheddar Woods Spa in Somerset, attracted 18 delegates from all over the UK and two international delegates from Saudi Arabia.
Inspire! aims to develop leadership skills and encourage continuous improvement and sustainability in delegates’ businesses via a programme offering an opportunity to broaden knowledge of running a successful store and share experiences with Spar colleagues.
Deborah Scott-Bell, Appleby Westward’s head of human resources and training, said: “The learning was built around two main activities. One was a leadership game, designed to deliver an understanding of the different leadership styles and behaviours and when these should be used in the context of typical store management scenarios.
“The other activity was Spar Wars, a computer-based activity that challenged participants, in their role as store managers, to react to a series of dilemmas in order to maintain and enhance profitability.”
One delegate, Brad Collins, who runs a Spar store at Cannich in the Scottish Highlands, said: “I have taken quite a bit from the course and have already started to implement some new ideas.
“One involved sitting down and discussing in detail with staff my plans and vision for the future of our business, and I was delighted at the response I got. New ideas are now coming in from staff and together we are now working towards even bigger things, so for that alone I am grateful to the team running the course.”
Deborah added: “The course was hugely beneficial and everyone agreed that activities provided would massively benefit their stores. Due to its success the programme is likely to return in 2017.”