What is your role and what does it involve?

Okay so you wouldn’t be wrong if you said I have the best job out there. As you probably know we at Reiss love our customer and if you’ve ever visited one of our stores or ordered online you know we like to pull out all of the stops. Well my job, or well rather my mission, is to deliver that same experience for our internal customer (our teams).

According to my job description I am the ‘People Development Partner’, which does exactly what it says on the tin. I partner with people and teams to develop them. But that’s just the ‘what’ I do, but it’s the ‘how’ that makes it the best job. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to development, you can’t just shake people like a polaroid picture. Using a ton of different tools and facilitation approaches, ranging from staring in, shooting and editing our home grown video content to in person facilitation and interaction, the way we grow and develop our teams has to be as diverse as the people that are in them. Basically I get paid to chat to people about what they need and where they wanna go.

As a member of the People team I get to play an integral role in developing and driving our culture to become one where everyone feels valued. Acting as a key stakeholder in our company EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) strategy, I get to have hard hitting and close to home conversations with everyone in our business , from team members in our central offices to our front line workers in our stores both at home and internationally. Oh and don’t forget our amazing folks at the warehouse!

So I’ve spoken about the ‘what’ I do and a little about ‘how’ I do it, but the real question is ‘why’ do I do it? I believe that if you have the ability to make things better for the people around you, then you have the responsibility to do it. So if you decide to join the good folks here at Reiss, my question to you is simple… ‘How can I help?’

Why Reiss? What do you enjoy about the company?

To coin a phrase from a pal, who was probably quoting someone else, ‘You gotta shoot for the stars and hit the ceiling’. And that is for me, what Reiss is all about. The only limit to what you can achieve here is your own imagination. Resilience is key, learning to see barriers as hurdles to overcome, rather than a roadblocks is a must have.

In my short-ish tenure with the brand, I’ve learnt that it's about grabbing every opportunity that comes at you with both hands and throwing your all into it. Another quote which I have no idea where it came from is ‘It’s about the come backs not the knock backs’ and that’s true for Reiss. Not every project lands as you hoped. This is brand for the entrepreneur, for the individual who doesn’t want or need a playbook. But this is also a brand approaching the big Five-Oh (50), with the scrappy attitude of someone fresh off the block. Constantly evolving and innovating, becoming better, faster and stronger for both its internal and external customer.

What is your background and how did you get to where you are today?

When I was younger I wanted to own a fish and chip shop and be a swimming instructor. Then the vision was to be an art teacher. But as with many other retailers, I fell into this fast moving industry. With over a decade of retail experience, I can’t believe it’s been a decade, I’ve seen a few things. Starting as a sessional sales advisor at a high street fashion brand, I thought I was just in retail for 6 weeks over the holiday period so I could afford to buy beer… But two retail brands, two continents and multiple roles later. Spanning from the aforementioned sales advisor role, through to menswear flagship manager. Then hopping over to states for a 5 year stint working in L&D and Retail Operations. It has been one hell of a ride. I have partnered with and work alongside some of the best leaders in the business. Learnt best practice and (hopefully) avoided the worst. We all have lines we live and work by and some of mine are:

1. If you give someone a bad job to do, what are they gonna do? A bad job. If you give someone a good job to do what are they gonna do? Yep you got it, a good one.

2. You have one life and its broken into 3rd’s and one of those 3rd’s is work. So, do yourself a favour and love what you do.

3. When someone needs a chat, it might not always be the most important part of your day, but it could be the most important part of theirs.

I guess younger me might be a little disappointed by the lack of fish and chips in my life. My career has been a lot of ‘why not give that a go’. I challenge myself every day to write something that makes me laugh, it is a pun-derful life after all. But with core values rooted authenticity, integrity and allyship. I mean what could be more authentic then someone with the last name ‘Ellin’ and the first initial ‘D’, working in L&D?