Pets at Home, the UK’s leading pet care retailer, has completed its third employee opinion survey, form ORC, achieving a remarkable average of 89% for engagement levels across the organisation, defying the current trend in the retail sector.
Measured using ORC International’s “Say, Stay and Strive” model for employee engagement levels, the five engagement questions scored 16 percentage points above the retail sector benchmarking score, and 21 percentage points above the Perspectives benchmark.
“Pets at Home has proven that despite the effect the recession is having on the retail sector, there is still hope for employers when it comes to employee engagement,” says Michael Courtier, project manager for Pets at Home at ORC International.
Underpinning Pets at Home’s success has been the targeting of areas with the greatest impact on employee engagement through the use of key driver analysis.
Statistics have shown that the areas driving engagement for the organisation have been Employee Values and Customer Service.
Additionally, a statistical analysis segmented staff into different groups depending on their engagement; the results of which showed that the most engaged colleagues were likely to be female dog owners.
Despite the economic recession, Pets at Home has continued to grow over the last 12 months opening a further 20 stores; bringing its total to 233 across the UK.
In addition to investing in new stores, Pets at Home has also identified the importance of up-skilling its colleagues.
The company is currently working with leading Universities on the development of Foundation Degrees – combining academic learning with workplace learning to equip store teams with the relevant knowledge, learning and skills to improve the service levels offered in their stores.
As training is a key indicator for employee engagement, by working with colleagues towards externally accredited qualifications Pets at Home is further strengthening the relationship it has with its team members.
“Essentially, we are tapping into skills which are already out there, but for whatever reason have not necessarily been realised. The training programmes we offer are extensive; we look beyond the skills which are seen as being necessary for an individual’s actual job and instead help employees attain valuable qualifications” comments Ryan Cheyne, Head of Human Resources, Pets at Home.
“We are developing an offer of GNVQs, Foundation Degrees and apprenticeships which are all built into and geared around people’s working lives.”
“The introduction of such schemes is not without difficulties, as training is based largely within stores, but the benefits are extensive – both for our store teams and most importantly for our customers, who benefit from the levels of knowledge and service we can offer as a result.”
“By ensuring that your colleagues feel valued, working with them to provide excellent customer service, and helping them gain qualifications for their future, organisations will find that their engagement levels will steadily climb” explains Courtier.