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Celebrating People, Celebrating Success in South Africa

Achievements in certificated training in South Africa are celebrated at an official certification ceremony where people are individually handed over their certificate on stage by senior management. The ceremony is followed up by a dinner party, celebrating the success of people and business together.

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A career at SPAR: "Everything is possible here"

In 2014, SPAR Austria conducted the largest employee survey in the company’s history. More than 30,000 employees from four countries, including 20,000 from Austria, participated in the survey.

The results were very positive for SPAR Austria: With a satisfaction rate of 83%, the company maintained the same high scores recorded in surveys from 2010 and 2012. The survey also revealed that nine out of ten SPAR employees in Austria would recommend SPAR as an employer to friends, as did Romana Karner und Helga Hofer.

Romana Karner is very satisfied with her career at SPAR. After having worked in different departments, Karner decided to stay in the Buying Division during her last year of training. Since 2006, Romana has been Head of Buying in the Fresh Goods department of SPAR Styria and Southern Burgenland. "I still enjoy this job, as it is varied and challenging. It is true: If you show commitment and love to work with people, you have many opportunities at SPAR!"

Helga Hofer, 26, has achieved a great deal at such a young age. In 2003, she started to work at a EUROSPAR in Gleisdorf and since November 2012, she has been working as Store Manager in the SPAR Supermarket, Graz Friedrichgasse. "I can strongly recommend following a training at SPAR Austria," says Helga. "The training offers many extras such a team training, specialist courses, seminars, driving lessons and more. And you are not just a number at SPAR. We are a real family."

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A F Blakemore integrate Staff Zone into their website

The Staff Zone area was integrated into the A.F. Blakemore website to help colleagues to access key business information. Dedicated to the needs of employees, the Staff Zone features business news, basic HR policies, learning & development opportunities, the company’s brand guidelines and a monthly business update from the company’s managing director.

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SPARkling Service Standards grow retailers' business

SPAR has launched a new training package that will provide retailers with the tools to deliver unbeatable customer service standards. SPARkling Service has been relaunched with increased emphasis placed upon in-store behaviours, continuous improvement and community involvement.

The package has been designed to enable a "pick and mix" approach at local level. Various products available include:

  • SPARkling Service Train the Trainer - An electronic or printed version will enable store owners/managers to deliver training directly themselves.
  • SPARkling Service Video clips - These are professionally produced and highlight to retailers and their staff what good SPARkling Service looks like.
  • SPARkling Service Self E-learning –This NEW interactive product is delivered electronically and will take away the pressure of training from the store owner/manager.

The revised standards are easier for learners to remember and are focused on behaviours which also encourages continuous improvement. Emphasis has also been placed on the importance of retail stores involvement in the communities in which they serve.

The five training modules within the SPARkling service training programme has been developed to make a new, E-Learning SPARkling Service package for SPAR retailers.

Philip Marchant, SPAR UK Corporate Development Director has spearheaded the project with the support of a national working group comprised of key people from across each SPAR region.

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SPAR Austria recognised for commitment to health at work

SPAR Austria has been rewarded with the Seal of Approval Workplace health certificate, thanks to its firm commitment to strengthening health awareness with its 'Healthy at SPAR' initiative.

Employees at SPAR have access to a wide range of health activities from vaccinations and eye tests, to running clubs, massages and lectures on current health topics, used in conjunction with the SPAR Health Card.

To mark this success, on February 6th, SPAR was handed the Seal of Approval Workplace health award by Health Minister Alois Stöger and Chairman of the Salzburg health insurance Siegfried Schluckner at the ORF studio in Salzburg.
In addition to numerous health services, judges congratulated SPAR for the healthy management culture, health infrastructure and various measures for mental health and flexible working time.

Dr Gerhard Drexel, SPAR Austria CEO, said: "As one of the largest employers in Salzburg, SPAR is aware of its responsibility for its employees.

"Health is a joint task, and we want to be an attractive, modern employer, offering a comfort-able working environment in addition to professional challenges."
A dedicated body manages the 'Healthy at SPAR' in the SPAR central office in Salzburg, offering solutions for more than 1,000 employees on nutrition, exercise, relaxation and safety.

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Innovation Award for online training in China

SPAR China has been recognised for its highly innovative Online Training Academy for retail employees with a prestigious award from the China Chainstore and Franchise Association.

SPAR China took home the Retail Innovation of the Year award thanks to its online training scheme, which allows employees of individual stores to register, develop and carry out their own personal training on a closed portal accessible via theSPAR China website.

Training covers all aspects of their jobs, including customer service, stock keeping, merchandising, hygiene, fresh foods, bakery preparation and health & safety.

Those involved in the online scheme can watch best practice videos online, giving examples of successful retail tips and advice from other SPAR countries, adapted to suit the market in China. There is also a training community where participants can share their experiences.

Participants can complete a wide range of courses online, with the site registering completion time, start date, finish date and the level they achieved.

Tobias Wasmuht, Managing Director of SPAR China said: "We are delighted that our work and team efforts have been celebrated by the rapidly growing retail industry in China.

"This award shows that SPAR China has been recognised as a leading company within the Chinese retail industry.

The training scheme is available to SPAR employees in all regions of China through independent SPAR partners in each area of the country.

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Pilot project to help blind shoppers in Austria

SPAR Austria has started a pilot project called ‘Barrier free shopping’ to make shopping easier for blind people in 15 SPAR and EUROSPAR stores in Salzburg.

SPAR Austria, in cooperation with the Salzburg Blinden- and Sehbehindertenverband (Blind and Visually Impaired Federation), has begun a pilot project called ‘Barrier free shopping'. Since November 2011, striking yellow columns facilitate an easy shopping experience for blind people in 15 SPAR and EUROSPAR stores in Salzburg. At the touch of a Help button in Braille positioned at the entrance of the store, support can be requested. All SPAR staff have been trained to assist visually impaired people with their grocery shopping.

In this way, SPAR enables visually impaired people to do their grocery shopping without the help of a neighbour, friend or relative. In addition to the Help button, menus in Bistros with bigger fonts and braille are available.

Managing Director of SPAR Salzburg, ChristophHolzer explains: "The pilot project will be launched simultaneously in the provinces of Salzburg and Tyrol, and is currently limited to the cities of Salzburg and Innsbruck." He added, "We are delighted to have such an excellent partner who has significantly contributed to this project. All employees have gone through professional training and in addition, the topic has also been included in the ethical teachings of our SPAR Academy."

Joseph Schinwald, chairman of the Blind and Visually Impaired Federation is happy about the cooperation; "Blind and visually impaired people have to cope with difficult tasks in their everyday lives. Therefore any alleviation is an important step towards a better quality of life. We are pleased to get professional support from SPAR. It was important that this idea is sustainable and helps impaired people. We found in SPAR a congenial partner and we would like to say thank you."

According to statistics, approximately 2.5% of Austrians are blind or severely visually impaired. Mr. Holzer explains: "Shopping is almost impossible without the help of another person, most of them need support of neighbours or aquaintances. SPAR wants to pursue its role as a local grocer and wants to support people who have handicaps or are simply too old to follow an independent lifestyle." After an acoustic signal appears, employees can accompany the shoppers, provide them with support for product location, assist with the choice of products, indicate special offers as well as assist with the payment of the groceries.

One of the main philosophies of SPAR is to take on social responsibility and to support where help is needed. "We do so in different ways, for instance with donations or cooperations with trustworthy partners such as Caritas, Rettet das Kind Salzburg, or the Blind- and Sehbehindertenverband," says Christoph Holzer.

Through this project, SPAR Wörgl has won the TRIGOS award for Corporate Social Responsibility under the category "Social".

Managing Director of SPAR Tirol and Salzburg, Dr. Christof Rissbacher said, "We are delighted to receive this award. It is an external confirmation that the commitment of our 3,000 employees to a good cause does pay off."