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Laura Ashley Photos
Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookNo opinion of CEO
- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I worked at Laura Ashley part-time (More than a year)
The majority of the team were friendly and helpful, although all were clearly jaded and depressed after having worked an average of 8 years each with the company. The staff discount was a bonus, however, it took 3 months of employment before this was granted. I loved the uniform, although some of the clothing didn't last very well and the uniform allowance is quite small considering the cost of the clothes and the poor quality. I found myself spending more than I could afford to on my uniform. Good break system that is spread out evenly throughout the day; a 15 minute morning break, 1 hour lunch break and a 15 minute afternoon break. One of the managers was one of the best I've ever had - very understanding of staff needs, extremely friendly - even buying cakes for the staff to enjoy on their breaks on a Sunday, always a joy to work with.
Insufficient training - despite the online training system which included working through the company booklet and completing small tests on each aspect of the role, as this mode of learning involved sitting in a dark office for 2 to 3 hours at a time reading page after page, this high volume of information was difficult to retain. More on-the-job training would have been far more useful. I was often criticised by one of the managers for not knowing the name and details of every single fabric, wallpaper, furniture design, etc, and my level of product knowledge was compared to other members of staff who had worked for 8+ years full time, whereas I had worked for only a couple of months at an average of 8 hours per week. This seemed an unrealistic and unfair expectation. One of the managers was an out right bully, who would deliberately go out of their way to make life difficult for the rest of the staff. A number of staff complained of their unhappiness with this manager, although all the staff were too scared to make an official complaint about their behaviour. Even customers complained on a regular basis about this individual's rude behaviour, to head office, but as I understand, this person still continues to work for the company. Inflexible attitude towards hours and holiday - this made it particularly difficult for me when sitting university exams.
Advice to Management
A better system needs to be put into place so that bullying issues can be addressed in the work place, without fear of reproach for the staff members affected. The uniform allowance, especially for part timers, should be reviewed; part timers are expected to wear full uniform, but have 1/3 of the allowance of full time members, this makes it very difficult to meet the uniform standards expected. Review the frequency of in-store sales; customers often get frustrated with the sheer amount of in-store sales, never knowing to wait another week to buy something as it is likely to go into sale (again!) this made it very difficult for staff to make sales, and at times resulted in customers returning a day or two after making a significant purchase to find that the items they had bought had been reduced significantly, often verbally abusing the member of staff that had served them. Regular customers often remarked that they felt unable to trust staff when it came to making purchases as staff didn't warn them that a sale would be coming up. Obviously, staff are not informed until the last minute, so this is quite unfair on both the customer and the staff, as well as being damaging to the Laura Ashley brand. First and foremost, Laura Ashley management need to remember that the ground staff are the people who keep the business ticking over - treat them well and they will work well.