Management and leadership

Q&A: Arnold Clark’s Carol Henry

Tristan Young, Editorial Director, Auto Retail Network | 11 Nov 2019

Q&A: Arnold Clark’s Carol Henry

Tristan Young, Editorial Director, Auto Retail Network | 11 Nov 2019

In this article:

Arnold Clarke’s Group People’s Director discusses training and career development


What impact did the apprenticeship levy have on your business?

We’ve always been passionate about apprenticeships and the benefits they bring to individuals and businesses. The levy and the new apprenticeship standards, have meant we’ve had to make some changes, but overall we see it as a positive development; investment is needed to make an apprenticeship successful beyond the training.

What strategies do you have for ensuring your employees are engaged at work?

Our strategies are built around our five company values; family, communication, progression, recognition and community.

Family is focused on showing employees that we care, and helps us communicate that we’re a business anyone should feel comfortable working for, whatever their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Communication ensures our employees' voices are heard, and they’re kept informed about the business.

Progression focuses on allowing our employees to develop and get the training and support they need to do so.

Recognition is about keeping employees engaged; at a local level by always recognising a job well done, and also at an organisation-wide level, for example at awards ceremonies and other annual events we hold to recognise hard work and achievements.

Our Community value engages employees across our branch network, whether by supporting a local charity or sports team, or match-funding the fundraising efforts of individuals in our branches.  

How are you managing the new skillset required for the switch to plug-in vehicles?

As part of future-proofing the business, we’ve appointed a multi-departmental working party, tasked with planning and implementing training solutions for all departments. While most manufacturers provide training that’s relevant to their products, we’re also developing our own in-house course to be used during induction as part of an update to all our employees about EV technology.

What leadership development programmes do you run?

We’ve designed our leadership programme for existing managers as well as future managers. We offer a suite of courses, which are created and presented by topic experts. We have a yearly intake for future managers. Anyone can apply, providing minimum criteria are achieved. We introduced this approach to make sure employees could apply, without waiting to be nominated by their line manager. Our internal management qualification requires candidates to attend all management courses over a two-year period and demonstrate their ability at an end-of-programme assessment day.

What is your key focus for the next six months and why?

Our key focus is on people management training. To have an engaged workforce, you need supported, effective managers. So, in addition to our Manager HR Workshop, we’re introducing three courses for new managers; Recruitment and Selection, Mental Health and Diversity and Managing Difficult Conversations.

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