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Living our values by Davinia

We caught up with her general merchandise manager of Food, Davinia Pearl to get her take on our employees values.

Even in the really hard and stressful times, it’s important to show respect to people and to be able to have a conversation with someone face-to-face. I think that is being human. It’s also about actively listening to who you are talking to. Under times of pressure, we need to remember that we’re not robots; we make mistakes. Being human means saying: ‘We got it wrong, but together, how do we make it right?'

This means doing what you say you will do, and that’s something we had to work on in our team. When I joined Harrods, I asked my team to tell me if something was not going to happen on time or to plan, and to always be honest with each other. We worked hard on building trust with each other, and the key was agreeing to a common goal and understanding an individual’s purpose to deliver the goal. Building trust is about closeness and getting to know people. It’s also about celebrating success, which we do through our peer-to-peer recognition awards – which we call the ‘get stuff done’ awards! Over the years, everyone in Food is clear on their purpose, their role and how best to work together, and this is demonstrated through fantastic results.
For me, this value is about challenging the status quo. If we ever hear a comment like ‘It’s Harrods, it’s just been like this forever’, it’s an opportunity to better the way we do something. It’s about embracing change, and I feel comfortable with that – change makes life interesting. My team members aren’t scared of change either; they see the benefits and they also embrace it. There have been so many different initiatives, both commercially and from a people and behavioural perspective, that the team has embraced. We are constantly asking, ‘How do we improve?’ That’s the whole point of striving to exceed.
This year, the Food team got so many Harrods Awards for Excellence nominations. We are super proud of each other. We’re doing things that are leading the way, whether its financially or driving the Food L&D agenda. We recently had our spring showcase for the press, and seeing our products laid out was amazing. I felt so proud looking at my buyers, who are the best in the world to be able to bring this produce to the shelves of Harrods. It was fantastic seeing what my team had achieved.
I’m much better as a team player than working solo. I have incredible loyalty to my team and want to develop us to be the best. I want people across the business and across the industry to say they want to come and work with the Food team at Harrods.

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