Busy young mum is employee of the year at Swansea’s top shop

A busy young mum who juggles a hectic family life with her career has been named Employee of the Year by Swansea’s top retailer.

Customer Service Advisor, Rhian Gilbert, 21, came out top of the Debenhams pile when managers at the busy Quadrant Shopping Centre store were looking for their number one employee

Excellent customer service skills and an ever-ready smile helped Rhian land the title of Employee of the Year which came with a white-knuckle day out at Alton Towers and £200 of Debenhams vouchers.

Rhian said: “I was absolutely thrilled and really pleased. I have worked at the Debenhams store for five years, ever since I left Neath’s Ysgol Cwrt Sart at age 16.

“Initially I worked downstairs in the coffee shop but two years ago moved upstairs to the Home Department.

“My ambition is to move up the ladder and in a few years I’d like to think I can become Departmental Manager and after that, well, who knows?”

Not that working full-time is easy for Rhian who has to juggle her career with the commitments of having a young family to look after too.

She said: “My partner, Chris, and I live in Neath with our gorgeous three-year-old daughter, Lexie. It is tough working full time as well as being a mum and looking after a house.

“Chris works as a carer so we have to have a child minder to take care of Lexie when I’m at work. It’s difficult but something you have to do now-a-days I’m afraid. Especially if you want to get on and have a career.

“It means I get very little time to myself especially when you have to start the housework when you get home after a full day at work. But Lexie always has me smiling and means all the hard graft is worth it.

“I also really enjoy working at Debenhams. I love being part of the Home Department team, although there are more than 300 staff employed at the store in total.”

Debenhams Manager James Loxdale said: “We are very proud of our staff here at the store. They do a wonderful job and Rhian is a very worthy winner.

“She is a fantastic member of staff and nothing is ever too much trouble for her – she delivers consistent excellence in customer service and that’s at the heart of what we’re about.

“The Employees of the Month are nominated by their departmental managers and Rhian’s name comes up often so she is a very deserving winner of what is a lovely prize.”

Rhian added: “I also really enjoy working in The Quadrant in Swansea too. People are really nice and everyone has a smile for you which I think is really important.

“I always look forward to coming into work and meeting lots of new customers and chatting to some of our regular ones too.”

And Rhian was delighted with her Employee of the Year prize, a day out to Alton Towers and a £200 gift voucher.

She said: “I had a cracking day at Alton Towers. It was a company day out with Employee of the Year winners from a number of Debenhams stores. All the senior management went along for the day including our Chief Executive, Michael Sharp, which was nice.

“As for the gift voucher I soon spent that on things for Lexie and I didn’t forget Chris either!”

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