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