It’s official! Bribie Island’s Dennille MacDonald is Woolworths Supermarkets’ best checkout operator in Australia.
She, her customers and workmates could not be happier.
Woolworths announced the winners of its National Team Members of the Year Awards on October 23, from 7000 entries.
Dennille was one of 12 award winners and the sole winner in the Checkout Operator of the Year category.
This is the first time she has won the award and being named Australia’s top checkout operator came as a surprise.
“It was a little bit of a shock. I thought I was an everyday person just coming in and doing my job every day,” she says.
“I think it was my warm personality and the fact that I can have fun with the customers and the team, and I’m very efficient on the register.
“The team likes me and the customers and managers like me.”
Dennille started working at the Bribie Island store and for Woolworths six years ago.
She had previously worked on checkouts as a 14-year-old for another company, but this has been her longest stint in the role.
Being Australia’s best checkout operator requires the right blend of customers service and efficiency, which Dennille has obviously mastered.
She says she is a good multi-tasker and knows how to keep a smile on her face.
“When things get hard, just take a deep breath and make sure your body language is positive,” she explains.
“I enjoy my job. I get paid to talk to people … really, the other part is in the background.
“Some people don’t want to talk. You learn over the years how to gauge who wants to have a chat.”
Dennille has had strong support from customers who wanted to do what they could to help her take out the national title.
“Customers wanted to write to the CEO of Woolies,” she says laughing.
“For each round, our Bribie Island store (team) has gone absolutely crazy. Each step, I have been acknowledged with so many balloons and cakes. I’ve had great support.”
Secrets to success
Key to being a speedy checkout operator is making good use of the space in your work area and that’s the tip she passes on to new team members when training them.
“I tell them (also) to engage with their customers, acknowledge them and say hi, use your area properly and safely,” Dennille explains.
“It’s a very labour-intensive position. You scan thousands of items a day and if you’re not doing it safely, you could do a lot of damage (to yourself).”
She also points out that those who pass through staffed checkouts have chosen to be served by a person and have not opted for self-serve.
“They’ve come to you,” Dennille says.
She has found her feet, working with a great team and for supportive managers.
“Woolworths is an amazing company to work for. I’ve been offered a lot of opportunities with the company and at the store,” Dennille says.
“You can start at the bottom and work your way to the top.”
Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Natalie Davis says dedicated team members are at the heart of the company’s stores.
“These awards shine a bright light on the extraordinary dedication and relentless effort displayed by our team members in stores who consistently embody our core values. Our team members care deeply for their customers and the communities every day across Australia,” she says.
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