Q&A: Jardine Motors Group’s Clare Wright
Jardine Motors Group HR Director Clare Wright explains the challenges for the next six months
What are the key education and training requirements for people entering Jardine Motors?
We have such a variety of positions at JMG, and our focus is to create greater diversification in our teams and to bring new people to the business. While some of our roles require specific qualifications, we look for individuals who represent our core values, are passionate about providing exceptional customer service, and are keen to embrace new digital technologies as the world of automotive continues to progress at pace.
Over recent years we have heavily invested in our learning and development programmes and regardless of whether a colleague has previous academic or professional qualifications, we are able to support personal development and progression within all our roles.
How have you got your staff turnover figure so low?
In 2019, our attrition was 20%, which is the lowest it has been and is testament to the culture we have created across the business. Identifying talent, developing our colleagues, and giving them the opportunity to shine and progress with JMG.
How do you source talent for your organisation?
Our strong employee brand and desire to work for a progressive and dynamic retailer group sees many of our roles with a waiting pool of candidates.
Our internal recruitment team are very pro-active in their search for candidates and we work closely with our partners from outside of automotive such as the Armed Forces Transition Partnership to bring talent to our business from other industries and backgrounds.
How many apprenticeships do you carry out (per year)?
Representing many brands, we carry out at least 80 apprenticeships per year.
What is the aim of this training?
Our aim is always to upskill, reskill and reinvent our people. Our learning and development strategy is very much focussed on these pillars. We strive to continually develop our colleagues and enable them to be the best they can be.
With the ever-changing technological developments and a move towards a more digital infrastructure, we recognise it is essential we develop our colleagues and support their learning as we move away from traditional automotive retail practice. Implementing new systems and platforms and training our colleagues in these new ways of working, we can ensure the best experience for both colleagues and customers.
How are you managing the new skill-set required for the switch to plug-in vehicles?
The development of electric vehicles will have a huge impact on the automotive industry, and it is vital that we are prepared for that. Working closely with our OEM partners to participate in their training programmes as well as introducing our Bright Sparks initiative across our JMG network we are set to create and develop expert knowledge, experience and best practice in the latest EV technologies. It is important to us to give our colleagues all the tools and information they need to support the ever-growing customer demand and expectation around electric vehicles.
What leadership development programmes do you run?
Developing talent and our future leaders is something we are very passionate about here at JMG and we are proud of the leadership programmes we have in place to support this as well as providing colleagues with access to external initiatives to supplement our own programmes. Completion of our programmes provides colleagues with accredited, industry recognised qualifications and reflects our commitment to the development of our colleagues.
Our Leaders of the Future programme is ILM accredited level 5 and is targeted at those managers already in the business who are looking to take their next steps and enhance their already significant leadership skills. For new and aspiring managers, we also run a First Line Manager Development programme which leads to a level 3 apprenticeship diploma.
What is your key focus for the next six months and why?
COVID has introduced many challenges across all industries. Within our organisation, we have had to draw on our resilient and agile nature to navigate through these difficult times. Over the next six months, our focus will be on stabilising the business and supporting our colleagues to give them the necessary tools to develop and progress our business as we look ahead and focus on our digital strategy and new ways of working.
Colleague wellbeing continues to play a huge part in our group culture and throughout the coming months we will continue to develop and promote this to ensure our colleagues are supported across all areas of the business, growing their mental resilience and supporting them through continuous change.
We will strive to further embed our strong colleague culture and refresh our values as well as further developing our diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure an inclusive organisation supportive of all.
Our established #WeareJMG inclusion strategy focuses on core areas of diversification through focused networks around gender, LGBTQ, Armed Forces, disability and BAME and most recently we have signed the Social Mobility Pledge to broaden our areas of focus and ensure we are offering opportunities to those whose talents are yet to be unlocked regardless of background and experience.