Learning and Development Manager

Head Office/Support Centre

Learning & Development Manager

About the role

A key leader within the People Team, reporting to the People Director, the Learning & Development Manager will build and execute a strategy that creates and curates inspiring learning for colleagues across our businesses (500+ Retail Stores, Distribution and Support Teams) to enable every one of our 4000+ colleagues the opportunity to reach their full potential and perform at their best. 

Whilst working in partnership with key stakeholders, and leading a team of 4.5 FTE, this role is the primary lead for ensuring we deliver outstanding learning and talent development in our fantastic business.

About our culture

The Works is such a welcoming place to… well… work! Our atmosphere is supportive, friendly and inclusive. A second home-from-home where you can be your best and authentic you.

We’ve built an environment that’s busy, always moving, and full of energy. Yet we still make space to share must-watch TV recommendations and our favourite page-turners!

We’re a proactive and hardworking bunch who are dedicated to inspiring and empowering our customers to read, learn, create and play.

It’s the perfect place for people who know how to roll their sleeves up, get creative, and put their passion and imagination to work… we’re people who ‘do’!

If you’re the kind of person who is as ’crafty’, ‘caring’ and ‘can-do’ as we are, then this is the kind of culture for you.

Some of the things you’ll be doing (and/or leading your team to do)


  • Identify the capabilities required to deliver our overall purpose and strategy, ensure that we have solutions in place to develop these capabilities

  • Support the development and implementation of the People Plan aligned to the overall company strategy

  • Define the required L&D budget, systems and suppliers required to appropriately meet the needs of the business now and in the long term

  • Influencing, challenging, inspiring and motivating colleagues at every level to take the actions to continuously improve The Works for our colleagues and communities

  • Able to create robust business cases to ensure value for money and track return on investment

  • Further embed, enhance and provide insight to evaluate our recently implemented new learning management system, THRIVE

  • Provide a good understanding of apprenticeships and the use of the apprenticeship levy, build and execute a strategy around the role they can play in developing colleagues and feeding our talent pipeline

  • Able to react quickly to emerging development requirements and skills gaps

  • Work with leaders and the wider people team to ensure visibility of learning opportunities for all colleagues and our people plan / strategy is relevant and effective.

Skills development

  • Work with leaders across the business to establish the skills requirements for roles at all levels. Curate existing materials and ensure best practice is shared across our business. Sourcing or creating materials to bridge any gaps in skills development

  • Ensuring we have tailored practical solutions that suit our different business areas and/or roles and accommodating different learning styles and technologies. Ensure that learning is accessible and inclusive

  • Provide a framework for line managers and colleagues for assessing training needs

  • Enable colleagues to access personal development as well as career development, for example, wellbeing

  • Ensure the onboarding and induction process continuously improves

  • Advise on change projects ensuring that any development needs are met to enable the change to be successfully implemented

Leadership Development

  • Help to create a leadership culture where colleagues are supported, empowered and encouraged to reach their full potential

  • Create leadership programmes for existing leaders to develop their skills, help them to understand their key strengths and maximise them, enable them to lead and engage effectively in an ever-changing environment

  • Provide the tools and frameworks to ensure that colleagues who want to develop can have great developmental check ins and have access to a range of appropriate opportunities

  • Work with the wider people team to improve people management capabilities and drive a consistent application of policy, procedures and support initiatives

Talent and Succession Planning

  • Work with key stakeholders and the wider people team to develop visible career pathways with development opportunities and milestones for colleagues to progress through

  • Support the People Partners with tools and techniques for succession planning practices and great conversations to minimise business risk and eliminating single points of failure

  • Further embed our talent identification framework helping leaders to differentiate between performance and potential

  • Create an inclusive environment with processes in place where identified talent is visible to leaders and are actively encouraged to move both horizontally and vertically across our business

  • Create tools and frameworks to ensure that our colleagues with potential to develop can engage in project work which will stretch and develop them outside of their day job

  • Using apprenticeships where appropriate, get colleagues ready for their next role ahead of them being appointed

Developing high performing teams

  • Support leaders and business partners to articulate what good looks like for all roles using workshops, tools and techniques

  • Provide guidance on the best way for leaders and teams to play to each other’s strengths and address development requirements

  • Using facilitation and team building experience (either inhouse or external), support the senior leadership teams to work effectively together and create team development plans

  • Support all colleagues with their skills to both provide and receive feedback enabling a just in time feedback culture

What we will give to you!

  • 25% off colleague discount in-store and online (Often increased to 50% off for seasonal offers!)
  • 33 days holiday (Inclusive of Bank Holidays)
  • Holiday Purchase scheme to increase your annual leave entitlement by 5 extra days per year
  • Access to our MyWorks reward platform which has thousands of exclusive online discounts across hundreds of well-known retailers, utilities, holidays and much more!
  • Hybrid working – This varies by department, but typically we’re working to 1 or 2 days per week in the office
  • Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme. Become a shareholder and buy your own piece of The Works by buying shares at an exclusive discounted rate direct-from-salary
  • Company pension contribution
  • Can-Do Academy – Instant access to training and development programmes when it suits you
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • Employee Health, Wellbeing and Financial support through the Retail Trust and our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – Because you matter!
  • Life Assurance
  • Healthcare Cash Plan
  • Free Car Parking when on-site at our Support Centre
  • Optional Charity Giving schemes – Pennies from Heaven and Give as you Earn

And finally, the bit about The Works

We are working towards our ambition of becoming one of the most loved retailers in the UK and the go-to place for reading, learning, creativity and play.

We believe in the importance of fun and fulfilment and taking time out to do the things you love.

With 525 stores nationwide and a strong multi-channel proposition, our mission is to offer a unique and enjoyable shopping experience, built on core principles of value, variety and quality.

We’re super proud to be certified as two star ‘Outstanding to work for’ via Best Companies for three years running and a Sunday Times 2020 Top 25 Best Big Companies to work for.

Apply now
  • Viki_People_Story.jpg

    I’m glad I went for the role - I’m loving every minute of it!

    Viki - Operational Trainer

    View more people stories
  • Nathan_People_Story.jpg

    Progression is definitely something that’s achievable here at The Works.

    Nathan - Store Manager & Area Training Manager

    View more people stories
  • Jacob_People_Story.jpg

    It helps a lot to work with people you really get on with.

    Jacob - Assistant Manager

    View more people stories
  • Grace_People_Story.jpg

    There’s lots of on-the-job training and you learn as you go along.

    Grace - Junior Buyer

    View more people stories
  • Dawn_People_Story.jpg

    There’s loads of freedom to use your own creative abilities.

    Dawn - Store Manager

    View more people stories
  • The_Works_Friday_0017_480x480.jpg

    Everyone in the store really made me feel at home.

    Dani - Supervisor

    View more people stories
  • Charli_People_Story.jpg

    It’s fast paced and all about thinking on your feet.

    Charli - Store Manager

    View more people stories
  • Female_colleague_smiling_with_arms_folded.jpg

    Everyone’s really approachable and the environment is very much open.

    Katie - Portfolio Manager

    View more people stories
  • Jevon.jpg

    I enjoy coming to work, and it’s rare to find that.

    Jevon - Customer Services

    View more people stories
  • Chiu.jpg

    "Everyone’s just as passionate about our products as I am."

    Chiu - Quality Assurance Manager

    View more people stories
  • Emily_-_Buying_Assistant.jpg

    What I love most are the people I work with. We just get on so well, we’re just like one big family!

    Emily - Buying Assistant

    View more people stories
  • Dylan_-_Sales_Assistant.jpg

    You do much more than just stand at the till… there’s merchandise, deliveries and opportunities to be really creative.

    Dylan - Sales Assistant

    View more people stories
  • Kayleigh_-_Assistant_Manager.jpg

    When it comes to our products, we all get just as excited about them as our customers do.

    Kayleigh - Assistant Manager

    View more people stories
  • Sam_-_Recruitment__Internal_Comms_Coordinator_.jpg

    Some people say it’s like a second family, but it genuinely is and we all help each other out wherever we can.

    Sam - Recruitment & Internal Comms Coordinator

    View more people stories
  • Kiran_-_Senior_Finance_Business_Partner.jpg

    When I first started at The Works, I realised straight away that everyone here just wants the best for you.

    Kiran - Senior Finance Business Partner

    View more people stories
  • Store_Manager_smiling_with_folded_arms.jpg

    I’ve never worked anywhere like The Works before. It’s fast paced and no two days are ever the same!

    Sharon - Store Manager & Area Training Manager

    View more people stories