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Joining the Co-op

I joined Co-op as a Customer Team Member (CTM) in 2017 through a local back-to-work scheme. Before I started, I’d spent most of my time in the hospitality sector in customer-facing roles, but I’d never worked in retail before. My first shift was working over Easter weekend in central Brighton, which was really busy, but it helped me build confidence and learn the ropes a little quicker. My colleagues were great too, and they gave me lots of help while I was shadowing them and learning on the job. After a few days, I found a new love for retail. I’ve always loved helping people, especially in my local community, and I can do that every day with Co-op.

Realising my potential

In 2020, a new Store Manager arrived at the Co-op I was working at, and they encouraged me to apply for a place on Co-op’s Boost Programme. The CTM to Team Leader Boost Programme is a course designed to help you learn and develop all the skills you need to become a Team Leader. As part of the course, I paid a visit to another local Co-op to get behind the scenes, see how the store operates, and identify potential improvements. It was a great learning experience for me, and I think it’s amazing that Co-op is so willing to invest in their colleagues.

Team leader experience

I completed the Boost Programme and soon after I was successful in my application for Team Leader. My new role comes with a lot more responsibility, but after completing my course, I feel more than prepared to take on whatever comes my way. Plus, my managers are always there to support me if I need a helping hand. After a few weeks, when I felt settled in my new role as Team Leader, I asked my manager for even more responsibility. Now I help organise the training for new starters at our store and take colleagues through the same training that helped me – it’s a really rewarding feeling. Being a Team Leader is definitely more challenging, but every day is different, and every week brings a new challenge. I’m loving every minute.


Rhiannon Pyett

Team Leader

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