Onboarding phase for HOFER Area Managers

Thorough preparation is needed before taking responsibility for staffing and business management. HOFER Area Managers start with a systematic on-the-job training phase of approximately eight months, which is specifically tailored to the position. The programme offers the necessary know-how for the job and establishes the first supervisory skills.

Dominik reports on his experiences during the onboarding phase:

My first day

On my first day as Area Manager, my Managing Director welcomes me in person. Together with my direct leader, the Store Operations Director, I learn in a detailed meeting what to expect in the coming weeks and months. I receive my own business mobile phone and the keys to my own BMW series 3.

Learning from my colleague

Laurenz is already expecting me in the store. He has been an Area Manager for two years and is a pro in his field. I will shadow him in the coming weeks and will surely learn many new things. I also meet the store staff members during our first round of the store. My greatest challenge today is to remember everyone’s name. :-)

Store phase I

Today marks the start of my store phase as a sales employee. I learn more about daily operations and join the work activities of the store team. The most challenging thing? The till with the different PLU numbers! The job is physically quite demanding – I gain new respect for everyone in the store team!

Store phase II

During my second store phase, I step up to the role of Store Manager for several weeks. That means I am responsible for the 16 employees at the store for the coming weeks. I have to keep an overview of everything, especially in ordering – the day after tomorrow is a holiday and we know we need extra quantities for our shoppers!

HOFER ACADEMY

The first training week of my management training programme with HOFER ACADEMY has started. Together with the other new hires, we are learning management lessons to handle practical situations – from technology used in stores to inventory and key performance indicators. I also meet other colleagues from my regional office and we agree to go out for an “after-work” dinner.

Annual leave

The past months have been quite eventful. When I go grocery shopping now, I see the store through a different lens. I use my holidays to process my impressions and to relax. I take a trip with friends and enjoy the fact that I am no longer on a student budget. :-)

Utilising expertise

After the comprehensive time spent in the store, I also shadow other colleagues in their working environments and assist them as a sparring partner. Meetings at the regional office bring together all Area Managers. We enjoy comparing notes about similar management experiences among colleagues. We find it helpful to share information and to hear other points of view.

Team event

Our annual team event with my colleagues further strengthens our team spirit. After a few fun rounds of go-cart racing, we all attend a team dinner. I enjoy learning more about my colleagues outside of work.

Regional office week

HOFER places great emphasis on broadening the horizon of its employees and offers opportunities to learn about other exciting areas of the company. I am spending one week in the regional office  to learn what happens behind the scenes in Buying, Logistics, Properties and Administration. I am particularly impressed by the speed and efficiency of goods receiving and picking.

Holiday representation

Now things are getting serious! While Laurenz takes a well-earned holiday, I manage his stores as his representative. Thanks to my on-the-job training, I know exactly what to do when we experience a sudden power outage. I know I can handle this! In emergencies, I can always contact my colleagues for advice.

Exchange of experience

Communication is a key part of my work activities – whether with employees, colleagues or my supervisors. Personal meetings are a high priority. Once a month, we hold a large staff meeting, in which we share our experiences with our supervisor and discuss current concerns.

Handover of the assigned area

I feel a little nervous about the handover of my own stores – it’s a special event. At the end of my comprehensive onboarding phase, my Store Operations Director gives me detailed feedback on my development so far and offers helpful tips for further professional and personal growth.

Ready, set – go!

The theoretical and practical foundations I acquired over the past months have prepared me well to soon independently manage the five stores assigned to me. To celebrate, my family surprises me with a dinner in my favourite restaurant. I really look forward to assuming responsibility and to expanding my skills as a manager.

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