Retail CEOs join forces to champion staff wellbeing

Retail CEOs join forces to champion staff wellbeing
// Retail leaders join forces with RetailTrust to champion workers’ wellbeing
// Morrisons, Asos & BRC CEOs to speak out about mental health pressures facing retail workforce as shops reopen

Over 20 retail leaders and experts have joined forces with industry charity RetailTrust to champion the health and wellbeing of its workforce as shops begin reopen across the UK.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts will be among those taking part in RetailTrust’s Championing the Health of Retail event by sharing what he has learnt from leading during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Leaders from Asos, John Lewis, Pets at Home, Pinterest and the BRC are among other organisations being brought together by the charity on May 10-11.

READ MORE: Our people are the retail sector’s most valuable asset (Comment)

The event aims to build hope, health and happiness for everyone working in the retail industry after RetailTrust experienced record demand for its services over the last year.

More than 1000 employees from over 200 companies attended last year’s digital event.

Asos chief executive Nick Beighton said: “The past year has been incredibly difficult for everyone, and as we’ve adapted to new ways of working, limited social interaction, and an unprecedented amount of time spent indoors, supporting mental health in the workplace has been more important than ever.

“The benefits of this go far beyond boosting productivity and company morale.”

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “All in retail have been impacted by the pandemic, from those in the front line helping to feed a nation, to those working in distribution centres and logistics ensuring we can get our latest deliveries.

“Many have faced challenges of being bounced from open to closed and back, bringing uncertainty to their lives and livelihoods.

“They are all heroes, and we must ensure we continue to support them, and each other, as we emerge from the crisis.

“UK retail will continue to be world-leading, but only thanks to the indomitable efforts of everyone who is part of our industry.”

John Lewis Partnership people capability director Jo Walmsley said: “Wellbeing is not just about our health, both physical and mental, but also diversity and inclusion, and being comfortable to be our whole self at work.

“In focusing on the wellbeing of our people in every sense, not only do we enable the best experience for the individuals within our organisation but also the best outcomes for our business.”

RetailTrust chief executive Chris Brook-Carter said: “As a charity we have responded to an incredible demand for our services since the start of the pandemic and it is clear that the retail sector now has a huge role to play in building hope, health and happiness as we move out of this crisis.

“It has never been more important for the industry to come together to understand how we can really look after and protect our colleagues and this event will begin to show what action needs to be taken to protect the future of the industry as well as sharing advice and expertise on a range of issues.

“One in four UK adults experiences a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime but four in four, so every single one of us, will experience a major setback or life event that can affect our mental and physical wellbeing.”

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