Eight retailers in line be to named the industry’s ‘happiest places to work

AldiSainsbury’s and bp have been named three of the retail industry’s happiest workplaces after being shortlisted for a leading award being run in association with industry charity the Retail Trust at this year’s Retail Week Awards.

They are among eight retailers, which also include WickesMajestic WineMamas and PapasThe Perfume Shop and Cotton Traders, in line for ‘The Microsoft Award for The Happiest Place to Work’ which recognises industry-leading standard for wellbeing and workplace happiness across the retail industry.

The winner will be announced at the Retail Week Awards ceremony in London on March 5

The shortlist was selected using data collated last year by employee experience platform WorkL and for a range of measures to improve wellbeing, address the rising cost-of-living and implement more inclusive working practices at their head offices and stores up and down the country, including:

Aldi raised the minimum pay rate for colleagues three times in 12 months, from £10.50 to £11.40 an hour, representing a £100 million investment in colleague pay.

Sainsbury’s introduced important new initiatives that are improving employees’ work-life balance.

bp became the first forecourt retailer to partner with the Retail Trust, giving employers access to new support including wellbeing training for managers and an online GP service.

Wickes strengthened its commitment for a more diverse business, with the company’s colleague-led networks driving awareness and education.

Majestic Wine conducted its largest-ever listening programme to create new employee forums to improve communication across the business.

Mamas & Papas introduced enhanced holiday entitlement and pension contributions as well as critical illness cover and private medical insurance for staff.

The Perfume Shop became an accredited Living Wage employer for the first time and relaunched its employee benefits programme to offer staff a range of savings and discounts.

Cotton Traders improved internal communications with the launch of new channels alongside a reward and recognition platform with a variety of employee benefits.

They will now go in front of a judging panel made up 18 industry leaders, including Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust, Carl Cowling, chief executive of WHSmith, Leanne Rothwell, chief executive of Not On The High Street and Eve Williams, vice president and general manager of eBay

Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust, said: “We work with more than 200 retailers to improve the wellbeing of their people and demonstrate the link between a thriving workforce and a thriving business. This award is a great opportunity to celebrate some of the retail employers that are really putting this into practice, with new measures and initiatives that are focused on making their people happier, healthier and more hopeful for the future.

Hanna Jackson, managing director at Retail Week said: “The businesses we’ve shortlisted for this award have shown incredible innovation and dedication in building happier workplaces for their staff across the country.

“We believe that their commitment to employee wellbeing, inclusivity, and development sets a high standard for the UK retail industry as a whole and we’re looking forward to announcing the winner at the Retail Week Awards ceremony in March.”

Sponsored by Salesforce, the Retail Week Awards 2024 will recognise and reward the efforts of both retailers and the shopworkers, delivery drivers and headquarters staff who have gone above and beyond in their roles in the last year.  

The Retail Week Awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in London on 5 March precedes the UK’s leading retail gathering LIVE: Retail Week x The Grocer which is taking place from 12 – 13 March at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, London. 


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