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.

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

Executive responsibility:

People and Stores Director

Link to our Customer 1st strategy:

  • Committed colleagues

Link to business principles:

Be committed   Do things our own way

Link to principal risks:

People and culture

UN Sustainable Development Goals


Our Policies

We aim to provide fair employment to all colleagues, regardless of disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status or age. In the past year we have continued our ‘Empowering Female Leaders’ programme to promote greater gender diversity in our management population, as well as other events, for example we held a ‘Women in Tech’ event, and introduced a flexible holiday entitlement. Further details are in our equality and diversity policy.

At the end of June 2019, the breakdown of male and female colleagues was as follows:

. Male Female %
Group Board 5 3 38%
Executive Board 3 5 63%
Dunelm Leadership Team (including Executive Board members) 14 6 30%
All other colleagues 3,107 6,462 68%

We recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce, and during the year we have started to measure diversity throughout our colleague population to identify gaps, and look at ways in which we can promote diversity beyond gender.

‘Develop our people’ is one of our business principles – investing in training and development opportunities helps us retain talent in the business – 92% of all store management vacancies in the year were filled internally and over 30,000 e-learning modules completed across the business.

All new colleagues receive our ‘Little Book of House Rules’ explaining our business principles, which are used in recruitment and appraisals, and embedded into our colleague communications.
Some of the ways we bring our business principles to life include:

  • Housewarming’ induction for new starters, to introduce them to us, our products and our way of doing things
  • Communication through regular ‘huddles’ (informal team briefings); a weekly topical email; Intouch and Yammer intranet communications and an annual strategy communication event. We have added to this a company-wide ‘new year celebration’ which marks the start of the financial year
  • Regular colleague council meetings (rebranded as National Voice) attended by senior management, enabling colleagues to raise and discuss issues. The National Voice meet with Marion Sears as our ‘designated Non-Executive Director’ for employee matters
  • 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 throughout this year

Measuring our impact

 Increase in colleague engagement score: 14% (2018 increase: 30%) 

What’s next for 2019/20

  • Launch and embed a new leadership behaviours framework, through a Leadership Development Programme with our Senior Leaders
  • Continue to develop our focus on supporting colleague well-being and mental health, including launching a well-being platform (provided by Retail Trust) to all colleagues, to provide access to useful advice and content to promote well-being
  • Continue the progress made through the ‘everyone’s welcome’ project which is to promote diversity, regardless of disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status or age, background or circumstances
  • Developing the capability in the business around data and insight

Our targets

  • Improve colleague engagement score by end of FY20

2018/19 achievements

  • Held a company-wide engagement survey (in addition to the ‘always on’ survey), using this to better inform the way we communicate with and engage colleagues throughout their career. After increasing by over 30% between July 2017 and May 2018, our engagement score improved by a further 14% between May 2018 and May 2019
  • Recognised by Glassdoor as being in the “top 50 best companies to work for in the UK”
  • Launched a mental health awareness programme, training over 50 colleagues as mental health first aiders, and training management colleagues to recognise and deal with mental health issues in their teams
  • Started a ‘pay advance’ facility for our colleagues, allowing them to access early up to 50% of the pay they have earned during the period. This gives our colleagues an alternative to pay day loans
  • Introduced a ‘flexible time off’ scheme, allowing all colleagues to take unpaid leave in addition to their paid holiday allowance
  • Working with Marion Sears as our ‘Designated Non-Executive Director’ for employee engagement – our National Voice colleagues have been developing as a consultative body
  • Developed the first ever retail degree apprenticeship, which over 20 of our colleagues are beginning in September 2019

Gender Pay Report