Employee engagement is steadily rising at the Co-operative Group, according to the firm’s 2008-09 Sustainability Report.
Staff engagement among the firm’s 82,000 workforce was given a score of 77 (out of a possible 100) compared to 74 in 2007, 74 in 2006 and 69 in 2005, the report revealed.
Despite the tough economic conditions, average spend on training per employee was not cut across the group, with the Co-operative Pharmacy spending £162 per employee in 2008, compared to £151 in 2007. Average training spend for Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) staff increased from £1,248 in 2007 to £1,276 in 2008.
The report also indicated that growing numbers of employees are satisfied with the benefits they receive, which include a bonus scheme and childcare vouchers, with 72% agreeing that the perks on offer are fair for the level of work carried out. This compares to just 34% in the 2005 survey.
Pay levels are equal to or better than that of a similar role in another company, according to about half (45%) of trading group employees. But more than one-third (34%) disagreed and reported the opposite.
The group’s gross sales – which incorporates food, travel, banking, pharmacy and funeralcare businesses – passed the £10bn mark for the first time in 2008 and climbed 15% in comparison to 2007. In the face of the economic downturn, food stores recorded an average sales uplift of 13% in 2008, while profits of £147m in the CFS were recorded.