Belgian Associates energized by Petcare Academy day

Introduced by Steve Axe, GM Belgium, the workshop had three individual but connected sessions aimed at helping Belgian Associates become passionate and more knowledgeable about pets, enabling them to be confident, proud ambassadors for all the Petcare brands, products and services.

“The idea for the workshop came about in a collaborative way”, says Suzy Roffey, Petcare Academy Global Manager. “Partly by thinking about how to engage multi-sales Associates with BWFP, and partly as a result of Kathy Heungens, CA Director Belgium, looking for ways to deliver learning days focused on each segment over the course of the year. Using the existing template with BWFP, we were able to take up the challenge and offer the first of the proposed segment days.

“Working with Ellen Jacobs, CA Officer, we looked at how to take the core of BWFP and make it relevant to a multi-sales audience and deliver it in a highly interactive and engaging way.

“The resulting workshop programme gave Associates the chance to rotate between three ‘booths’, each with a different focus. Session One was entitled, ‘Understanding cats and dogs,’ looking at nutrition and some of the myths around pet food. The second was about ‘Understanding the Petcare business’, which explained our vision, OGSM, our position in the local marketplace and an insight into the Royal Canin business in Belgium. The third session was about the ‘Positive Experience of Having a Pet’ where representatives from a number of local charities, including Dyadis, Croix Bleue/Blauwe Kruis, Activ’Dog and Ethologia, described the benefits of their work and how the Mars Volunteer Programme helps them.

"Prior to the session Associates had the opportunity to contribute to an inspirational film, by talking about the benefits their own pets bring to them. We were delighted to share this and all agreed it was a great way to bring to PEHP to life. In another creative activity, photos of pets and their Associate owners were made into posters and placed around the booth for all to see which clearly illustrated the emotional human-animal bond.

“We had great support from the local team; after giving a really inspirational introduction to the workshop, Steve Axe took part in the sessions. Each ‘booth’ session was made up of presentations and activities hosted by local and global Petcare teams and partners – for example the ‘Understanding Petcare’ session was expertly co-delivered by Benedicte Flament from Royal Canin, and Jurgen Vandervelde from the local Petcare team,” says Suzy.

Confirming the successful workshop format Steve said: “It was a fantastic occasion for our Associates – very engaging and informative. And a lot of fun too! I would thoroughly recommend rolling this shortened program out – we have had excellent feedback from Associates.”

Part of the OGSM for the Petcare Academy is to ensure 80% of all new joiners to Petcare, experience BWFP in their first year, but as it is available to all Petcare Associates, it is also being used to up-skill or refresh existing Associates too.

“The workshop in Brussels was in some ways a pilot, introducing BWFP to a multi-sales team. Its success was down to a great collaboration and support from the local team. Now we have the framework available, we would like to we share it with other markets so their Associates can benefit from a similar experience,” reveals Suzy.

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