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GROW Programme Transforms Talent Acquisition for Contact Centres

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John Lewis contact centre new recruits receiving their GROW certificates

GROW Programme Transforms Talent Acquisition for Contact Centres

Greenbean recently partnered with the renowned John Lewis Partnership to pilot our innovative Get Ready for Opportunities at Work (GROW) programme. This strategic collaboration aimed to revolutionise how talent is attracted, recruited, and retained in the contact centre industry by implementing a 'Learnboarding' approach. This seamlessly integrates learning and onboarding, providing new recruits with an engaging and immersive pre-boarding and onboarding journey, and equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles from day one.

The GROW Programme: A Unique 'Learnboarding' Initiative

The GROW programme is an accredited, modular e-learning initiative that leverages the unique concept of 'Learnboarding' to attract new talent to the contact centre industry. It offers foundation-level professional accreditation from the renowned industry membership organisation The Forum.

Targeting Transferable Skills

Designed specifically for frontline contact centre advisors, the GROW programme targets individuals with desirable transferable customer service skills from industries such as retail, hospitality, and leisure. The mobile-enabled e-learning platform becomes accessible to recruits from the moment they receive an offer of employment, containing two box sets, each comprising four bite-sized modules of 10 minutes or less.

Supporting In-House Training

Crafted to support the in-house training function, GROW aims to attract the right talent to the industry, reduce early attrition rates, and improve the overall quality of the contact centre workforce, thereby contributing to the long-term sustainability and growth of the sector.

The Pre-Boarding Experience: Setting the Stage

The first box set is to be completed during the pre-boarding period, providing new joiners with a well-rounded introduction to the contact centre industry. It offers detailed insights into the sector's historical development and modern-day evolution. Participants gain a thorough understanding of prevalent industry terminology and organisational expectations before they begin their roles.

Mitigating Job Shock

This comprehensive preparation equips new hires with an in-depth understanding of the unique realities and expectations of working in a fast-paced contact centre environment, thereby mitigating potential 'job shock' on their first day. Moreover, the programme provides guidance on the diverse and multifaceted career trajectories possible within the contact centre sector, showcasing the different roles and departments and how they interconnect.

Seamless Transition

The seamless integration of learning from the outset ensures a smooth transition into their new roles within this dynamic industry.

Complementing Onboarding and Induction

Box set 2 is then designed to supplement the new starters' onboarding and induction phase, helping to accelerate and embed their learning. This strategic approach not only aims to reduce early employee attrition but also enhance the overall quality of the contact centre workforce.

Participant Experiences: Insights from Ben and Chantelle

We completed a feedback session on the pilot programme and gained valuable insights from two learners, Ben, and Chantelle, about their GROW experience. Ben was highly impressed by the engaging video content which challenged his preconceptions about contact centre roles. The videos not only broadened his understanding of the industry but also equipped him with practical skills ready to apply in his new role.

Meanwhile, Chantelle, who was transitioning from a retail background, found the programme both helpful and reassuring. It eased her transition into the contact centre environment while simultaneously boosting her confidence significantly through a profound understanding of her new role. She felt the programme provided her with the necessary knowledge and understanding to approach her responsibilities with enthusiasm and excitement.

Both learners praised the programme for its well-explained concepts, clear explanations of expectations, and great insight into the skills needed for success. Critically, the GROW program helped alleviate pressure and nerves about entering the fast-paced contact centre environment.

Organisational Impact: Accelerated Induction and Enhanced Performance

"The GROW programme has been instrumental in empowering participants to take charge of their own development," commented Michael Taylor, Team Manager at John Lewis Partnership. "By introducing industry-specific terminologies like Average Handling Time (AHT) and Average Speed of Answer (ASA), the Learnboarding approach complemented the induction process, allowing us to dedicate more time to in-depth training on other crucial topics. This immersive experience of learning during the recruitment process has rendered our new hires more adept and receptive to targeted coaching and feedback, ultimately enhancing their overall performance."

Beyond Learning: Continuous Development and Career Advancement

A notable aspect of the GROW programme is its emphasis on continuous learning and development. The programme culminated in an accreditation for participants, a valuable addition to their professional profiles. This recognition not only symbolises their commitment to personal development but also enhances their employability. Both Ben and Chantelle affirmed that the accreditation and the learning journey would make them choose John Lewis over other employers, highlighting the programme's effectiveness in attracting and retaining talent.

Commitment to Talent Development: A Shared Vision

Stephanie Calvert, Talent, Learning and Quality Development Manager at John Lewis Partnership reflected on the success of the pilot, emphasising the organisation's dedication to providing new hires with a solid foundation for their careers in the contact centre industry. "The GROW programme aligns seamlessly with John Lewis's investment in the professional development of our new hires. It sets them on a path of continuous learning, growth and success, paving the way for a bright future in the dynamic contact centre industry."

Georgia Scott, head of volume recruitment & GROW
Georgia Scott, Head of GROW

Georgia Scott, Head of Volume Recruitment & GROW comments, "Witnessing our Learnboarding approach empower new recruits with a genuine insight into contact centre operations was immensely gratifying. In the competitive landscape for talent against sectors like retail, hospitality, and leisure—where candidates often have firsthand experience and clear expectations—contact centres face a unique challenge. Many individuals may not have set foot in a contact centre, their impressions shaped only by outdated stereotypes or negative media portrayals. Our approach breaks down these barriers, offering a transparent and positive introduction to the unique environment of contact centres.

By providing an immersive look into the realities of contact centre roles before they join, we can manage expectations and prevent ‘job shock’. Giving new hires this preparation helps attract individuals truly committed to professional development in our rapidly evolving sector, where the ability to adapt, learn, and change at pace is crucial for building a future-ready workforce. For too long, the contact centre industry has grappled with high attrition rates. By showcasing it as a professional career path with accreditation, we aim to stem this 'leaky bucket', offering a transparent, positive introduction to this unique environment."


The pilot of the GROW programme with John Lewis Partnership exemplifies Greenbean's forward-thinking approach to attracting and retaining talent in the contact centre industry. By creating an engaging and accessible Learnboarding experience, Greenbean has not only facilitated seamless industry transitions but also contributed to the organisational excellence of John Lewis, underscoring the power of strategic partnership in building happier futures and long-term contact centre careers.

Discover a New Way to Recruit and Onboard Talent in Your Contact Centre

Enhance your recruitment and retention strategy with the GROW Programme, a transformative approach that seamlessly blends learning with onboarding for an ultimate ‘Learnboarding’ experience. Join us in revolutionising how we attract and raise standards in contact centre recruitment, offering accredited learning by industry membership organisation, The Forum. For an initial conversation without obligation, contact Julie Mordue here.

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