Winner - Kirby Raper, Specsavers
Apprentice of the
Year recognises an individual who has made outstanding progress within their
job role whilst on programme. We’re pleased to announce this year the winner is
Kirby Raper, Clinical Manager at Specsavers. Congratulations Kirby! We couldn’t
have found a more worthy winner.
potential has always been clear to Director Steven Wheatley, who saw that she
had all the makings of a great manager but needed more confidence in her own
order to support her, Kirby was put forward to undertake a Team Leader/Supervisor Level 3 Programme, ideal for first time managers looking to build confidence
and develop their skills.
the programme and Steven’s unwavering support, Kirby has transformed from
someone who was lacking in self-belief to a confident and competent manager.
main challenge was managing older staff who had been in the company for over 20
years as they didn’t see me in a senior role and went to the Director over me. Steven
believing in me made me more confident in myself and my abilities which was a
big turning point. The staff then started to trust and see me as their manager.”
encouraged Kirby to have daily one minute chats with her team to empower and
encourage her to take control. As well as forcing her to recognise her own
achievements: This included successfully leading a change in culture towards
Specsavers OCT machine. Kirby hosted an intense training session with her staff,
re-enforcing the training with daily one minute chats. As a result, there was a
30% uplift with patients requesting an ‘enhanced’ sight test.
management theories has helped Kirby to better understand her own management
style and how she can overcome the challenges she may face in the workplace.
have gained a lot of belief in my abilities as a manager. I am now able to
support staff by being more understanding and, through self-reflection, have a
better understanding of how my own emotions and actions affect others. I have
also gained a lot more knowledge about the business, how to set targets and,
most importantly, how to get staff to buy into meeting the targets.”
change in Kirby this last 12 months has been phenomenal. As it stands, Kirby
has achieved in less than 2 years, what took me 10. She listens and reacts to
feedback in a much more positive manner. In the early days, constructive
feedback was always construed as being a ‘personal attack’, whereas now she
understands that it is a medium to better her abilities. She adopts this
approach to the staff she is accountable for too and now understands ‘you can
give constructive feedback and still be liked’.
Kirby has lived up to the potential I saw in
her and in all honesty, has surpassed my expectations, she is already
indispensable to me as an employee. I am
well aware in most businesses, directors struggle to delegate and switch off
when away from work…Kirby allows me this luxury and I am extremely grateful.”
is already a well-rounded and accomplished manager and should be proud of what
she has achieved in such a short time. I am extremely proud of Kirby.”
being furloughed and running the store with reduced staff numbers, Kirby
successfully achieved a Distinction at EPA and has gone on to enrol on the Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Programme. Above all she now sees
herself as the good, strong manager she was always capable of being.