Whether it’s sourcing products from around the world, delivering goods around the corner, or providing industry-leading levels of service, we believe it’s our people who make the difference. Our people make Wolseley UK a fantastic organisation to do business with.

Hayley Steabler

Branch Manager, Plumb and Parts Center

What attracted you to Wolseley UK?

My degree was in politics but I'd been looking into applying for graduate schemes in business. I hadn't fixed on a particular company but knew I wanted to join an interesting and successful organisation – somewhere that could offer a role that was both challenging and a little bit different.

How did you become a Manager?

I first joined Wolseley UK via the graduate trainee programme eight years ago. Initially this involved working in the warehouse, followed by learning all the branch functions. This, in turn, enabled me to assist branch managers or stand in for them when they were off sick or on holiday. I now successfully manage my own branch, which I have been doing since 2008.

What kind of training have you had?

I've had lots of training. It was monthly whilst I was on the graduate programme, and I've achieved a Diploma in Management Studies. Now I'm Branch Manager it gets more advanced. Already, I've had the opportunity to work my way up with Wolseley UK and over the next five years I hope to move on to even bigger and better things.

What's the best thing about your job?

The best thing is definitely the customers…talking to them, establishing and building relationships with them. Some of them I see every day. It feels good when we hit our targets too. This year we've really smashed it… it's the best year we've ever had. It's great to see all the hard work paying off.

What's the atmosphere like in your branch?

I've worked in banking and other areas of retail and much prefer the atmosphere here. I never liked working in an office, and as long as you put in the work in here, it's a far less structured and more relaxed place to be. I'm surrounded by a strong team of experienced people who take things in their stride. And even when they're under pressure, find time to have laugh.

Christian Darby

Local Network Manager, Plumb and Parts Center

How did you come to join Wolseley UK?

I studied Sports Science at University but I knew that wasn't the career for me. Soon after I graduated, I was playing in a football team with a Wolseley UK Area Manager. He raved about the company and told me they were hiring so I went for the job and was taken on as a Trainee Manager at Telford.

How has your career progressed since?

At Telford, I learnt about everything from the warehouse, trade counter and sales. And after 11 months, I got the job of Branch Supervisor in Walsall. A year on, I got the Deputy Branch Manager's job at Birmingham Parts Center and the year after that I was promoted to Branch Manager. Next, I was a Cell Manager (responsible for a group of branches), then Network Manager in a number of locations, most recently Wolverhampton where I've been for the last 18 months.

How has Wolseley UK supported your development?

Consistent on-the-job training and in-house training courses have helped to hone my management skills. I've also had lots of support from line managers who've always encouraged me to think about what I want from my career, and helped me plan ahead to make it happen.

What's the biggest challenge you've faced?

As a Network Manager, my most challenging project involved introducing a new product range. We had to have the right stock in the right place at the right time for our customers. It involved getting the correct stock ordered and a mass cleanse of existing stock. This was all during the winter – our busiest time of year – with limited resource and while continuing with our business as usual so that customers didn't experience any problems or delays.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?

For me, seeing people develop who report into me is the main reward. I've brought a lot of employees into the business and it's great to see them do well. For example, I employed a guy straight from school who now manages one of the biggest branches in the country.

Steve Lettice

Shift Manager, National Distribution Centre, Wolseley UK

Why did you join Wolseley UK?

I was working for a third party logistics company when the Wolseley UK job came up. What appealed was the fact that the project was brand new and I relished the challenge to help create a National Distribution Centre from scratch. It was a brilliant experience which I’m unlikely to get again.

How has your career progressed since then?

When the National Distribution Centre opened in August 2006, I was made Team Leader heading up a team of 10 people. I then went to our Group Distribution Centre in Italy to help set up a warehouse management system we had experience of over there. I then held a variety of shift management roles to the one I'm in now, where I oversee 5 team leaders and 100 staff.

How do you start your day?

My shift starts at 6am, so first thing – at 5.30am – is a handover from the night shift. Next, I'll look at performance information from the day before and create a plan for the day ahead, then do a walk around (350,000 sq. ft. in total) to talk to my team leaders about any issues they might have.

What else does your day involve?

Later in the morning, there'll be a senior management team meeting where I present the figures for all three shifts. After that, around midday, I might have a 1-2-1 with one of my team leaders to discuss their development needs. After lunch, I'll generally spend the time until I finish at 2pm doing admin, possibly meeting inventory planners or the operations manager or dealing with things like resourcing, welfare or planning holiday cover.

What kind of training have you been given?

I've had training opportunities via the Online Training Academy and courses here at Leamington and other Distribution Centres. I achieved my NVQ 3 in Health & Safety and IOSH courses in Safety and Managing Safely. I've also had constant support from managers. When I started in particular, my shift manager at the time saw things in me I hadn't even seen in myself and was keen to develop my skills.

What's been most rewarding?

I feel I've developed personally as well as professionally. My interpersonal and communication skills have improved, especially in the last couple of years, and I've appreciated the responsibility and the opportunity to be actively involved with decision-making. I've also got a fantastic team working for me – five extremely competent team leaders.

Andrew Shorter

HR Business Partner, Wolseley UK

Why did you join Wolseley UK?

I graduated in Psychology from Bangor University in 2006 and first came across Wolseley UK at a Graduate Recruitment Fair. The woman I spoke to on the stand – and everyone thereafter – was really friendly. And when I dug a little deeper to find out more about the organisation, Wolseley UK, which is part of FTSE 100 company Wolseley plc, came across as a business of opportunity.

How has your career progressed since?

Well, I started on the graduate programme, specialising in HR and focused on projects with one of Wolseley UK's brands. I then moved on to get involved in UK-wide HR projects and analysis, which gave me the chance to work closely with the HR Director and other members of the senior team. I then spent three years as a Reward Specialist before being promoted to my current role, which is more generalist.

How do you feel you've grown?

The combination of training, plus guided and self-driven career development has been excellent for me. There is no free ride, but if you push yourself and take advantage of the opportunities on offer, you can do really well here. The company is very good at giving people the chance to self-reflect within a training context which has not only helped me develop the right leadership behaviours, but grow as an individual too.

What achievement are you proudest of?

I played a key role in the introduction of Sharing Success, the Wolseley UK all-employee profit share scheme. It's now an integral part of our offer to new employees and it's hugely satisfying to see people right across the business benefiting from it.

What inspires you at work?

The chance to work across a diverse range of business areas, with senior members of staff in all of them, inspires me as I get to see the whole UK operation in full swing – from Sales and Operations to Finance and IT. I also go to the annual Management Team conference now, which really fires you up!

Laura Begbie

Operational Management Graduate Trainee

Why did you choose Wolseley UK?

I graduated from St Andrews in Geography and having decided on a career in manufacturing and operations, I wanted a career in a top 100 FTSE company that would be fulfilling, full of challenges and with variety and versatility. I was thrilled when I learned I'd been accepted from over 2,000 applications to be a Wolseley UK graduate trainee.

What are the best things about your role?

I've had plenty of exposure to the business from day one, seeing how it's run from the grassroots. I've been given a lot of responsibility and I've been able to work across functions. It's been 100% rewarding and fulfilling. I also like the respect and appreciation the managers give the staff – no matter what their role. It's great to be appreciated for what you're doing and getting daily thanks from your manager lets you know you're valued.

What are your colleagues like?

The team at the branch are fantastic. They're very friendly and made me feel welcome and valued. It's how they treat each other too, not just me because I'm new. They work to the highest standards and I've been out and about and seen this attitude across other branches too. It's the Wolseley UK culture.

What kind of training have you had?

The training has been fantastic from induction onwards and I've made full use of the Online Training Academy. It's great to just sit and browse, but when you do the course for real, you get a certificate at the end of it – provided you pass of course. And because the pass marks are quite high you definitely feel you've achieved.

How would you describe Wolseley UK to other graduates?

Honest is a good word. There's a lot of honesty in the business which is made up of people who want to make it work. It also offers clear paths to career success. I genuinely want to come into work every day. It's fun, exciting, varied and worthwhile. And for me that marks it out as something special.