We believe that a great place to work is a great place to shop - we can only deliver great products and services to our customers through the hard work and commitment of our colleagues.

Executive responsibility:

People Director

Link to business goals:

2 3 4

The Dunelm Family

We employ over 9,000 colleagues across our business; in stores, our distribution and manufacturing operations, our contact centre in Radcliffe, and our store support centres in Leicester and London. 

Our people strategy has three elements:

Deliver the basics – provide fair employment to all colleagues, regardless of disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status or age.

At the end of June 2017, the breakdown of male and female colleagues was as follows:

. Male Female %
Group Board 7 2 22%
Executive Board 7 4 36%
Senior Management Team 16 7 30%
All other colleagues 2,988 6,033 67%

Invest in our home-grown talent – “develop our people” is one of our business principles – providing training and development opportunities helps us retain talent in the business.

Living our business principles – during the year we relaunched the business principles first written over ten years ago by our Deputy Chairman, Will Adderley.

Some of the ways we bring our business principles to life include:

  • All new colleagues receive our “Little Book of House Rules” explaining our principles. These principles are used in recruitment and appraisals, and embedded into our colleague communications.
  • “Housewarming” induction for new starters, to introduce them to us, our products and our way of doing things
  • Communication through regular huddles; a weekly topical email; our quarterly Gazette; and our In touch and Yammer intranet communications
  • We hold colleague councils where our colleagues can raise and discuss issues – meetings are attended by senior management and the outcome is fed back to the Executive Board
  • Our “always on” colleague feedback mechanism allows us to act on issues quickly. A number of key concerns affecting colleagues have been identified and addressed this year
  • We held a company-wide “new year celebration” at the end of June 2017, a fun event to celebrate our achievements over the year


At Dunelm, we are committed to paying men and women equally for roles of the same size and scale. Our mean gender pay gap currently stands at 17.4%, which is broadly comparable with the average for the UK. We will continue to close the gap through ensuring we encourage more women into senior roles. You can find out more details regarding what action we are taking in our 2017 Gender Pay Gap report

2016/17 Achievements

  • Aligned employment terms and conditions across our operations, including Worldstores, to ensure consistent terms to all our colleagues
  • Delivered training to colleagues, including nationally accredited modern apprenticeships and NVQs; our “sell more” programme; support for colleagues studying for professional qualifications in finance, HR and IT; management and leadership skills workshops; and interactive computer based learning tools
  • We changed our graduate scheme to focus on fewer individuals, ensuring that each receives dedicated training, mentoring by a member of the Executive team, and close involvement in strategic project work
  • Our new store management structure has provided a clearer development path – in the year we have filled 73% of Retail Management positions internally.
  • We relaunched our business principles and took steps to ensure that they are embedded in our ways of working, as described above

What's Next for 2017/18

  • Continue to work at aligning our employment proposition consistently across all of our sites and businesses
  • Continue to develop our people, including those on our graduate scheme, and participating in the launch of the first retail “degree apprenticeship”
  • A company-wide engagement survey (in addition to the “always on” survey), using this to better inform the way we communicate and engage colleagues throughout their career
  • Do things our own way in recruitment, targeting varied candidate pools for selection. Linked to this we are developing a new careers website to better reflect our employment brand
  • Issue our reports under the gender pay gap requirements