Head office staff, including deputy chairman Sarah Squire, managing director Martin Breddy and group marketing manager Karen Smith spent a day working in one of the 5 Squire’s garden centres as part of the retailer’s Feet on the Floor campaign.
Each employee from the group office was allocated a garden centres to work at, with the centre manager choosing the job that they should do for the day. According to Squire’s, the Feet On the Floor programme came about following a suggestion in its annual employee survey.
Deputy chairman Sarah Squire said of her day spent working at the Shepperton centre, “It’s been a fantastic experience, definitely one that we will repeat again. I worked in the Café Bar at Squire’s in Shepperton serving customers and clearing tables. It was very refreshing to be out doing something different from my normal day job. I absolutely loved it. I asked to work in a café bar because I was a Saturday girl in my youth, so I had experienced working in the garden centre shop and plant areas over many years, but in those days we did not have restaurants so I was very keen to gain a hands on understanding of some of the challenges my colleagues face in the café bars.”
Finance director Mark Wilson was kept busy assembling garden furniture at Squire’s in Reigate, while managing director Martin Breddy helped out with goods-in and stock replenishment at West Horsley, followed by a busy day in the plant area at Squire’s in Cobham. Speaking at the GIMA Day Conference recently, Mr Breddy joked: “The centre staff think we ‘office lot’ are a bunch of wasters, so we have all pledged to spend two days working on the shop floor – it totals 60 days of labour. I was in West Horsley the other day scanning-in stock and working on the till.”
Group marketing manager Karen Smith worked in the plant area at Squire’s in Twickenham. She said, “Customers asked a range of gardening questions throughout the day and I was so impressed by the diverse knowledge of our team. What really struck me was how quickly stock moved. You take pride in doing a nice display and then two hours later it needs sorting out again, but our team was great at keeping the plant area topped up on a very busy day. It’s quite a physical job, and of course you have the challenge of the weather that you don’t have in an office role! It was great to gain some more horticultural knowledge and very satisfying to be able to help customers find the best plants for their garden.”