Hi, I’m Iain Walker, the Store Manager of our Wrose Road food store in Shipley, Yorkshire.

When we found out we were part of the colleague headset trial, my colleagues weren’t too keen on the idea. They’d noticed people on the till at other retailers using them to have a chat when serving customers, so they hadn’t had the best first impression!

It took a while to get used to having something on your head constantly, at first I was going home thinking I was still wearing my headset, even though I’d taken it off back at the store. Now we’re used to them it just feels like wearing a hat every day.

We can help each other find things in our warehouse, and it’s a lot easier to get hold of colleagues for help on the till or to with answering customer questions.

Improving colleague safety

But most of all they’ve improved colleague safety. We’ve got quite a high theft rate in our store, and our shop is quite big, so we can speak to each other to keep everyone in the loop with what’s going on.

I can say to my team ‘I’ve just seen so and so walk in, can you just keep an eye on them?’ We don’t have to use the tannoy or shout across the store to each other now.

Something we noticed in the trial was that by just wearing our headsets, shoplifters think we’re actually speaking to someone else, like the police or people who are keeping an eye on them on our CCTV cameras. So even just the way our headsets are perceived by would-be shoplifters has made a big difference.

Our headsets have made the team feel a lot safer. I guess I shouldn’t say they’re the best thing since sliced bread, but they’re pretty close!

Iain Walker, Wrose Road 

Hear more from other colleagues involved in our headset trial, including Angela Bell from our Petrol Millbridge store.


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