Colleague feedback ‘shaping Waitrose’s future’

Feedback essential to Waitrose employee engagement strategy

August 13, 2015

Listening continues to be a key area of focus for internal communication professionals.

“Do you listen?” It sounds a simple question but frequently gets overlooked.

Waitrose IS listening to its employees though – and the priceless feedback is helping shape the future of the supermarket giant.

The business’s HR and internal comms team work closely to run Partner Ideas, a scheme where employees – known as partners within Waitrose – can suggest improvements to working life and make the firm more efficient.

Stuart Eames, Operational Improvement Manager at Waitrose, told HR Zone the scheme was a fundamental part of Waitrose’s employee engagement strategy.

He said: “We focus on the changes that make our partners’ jobs easier, removing blockages and inefficiencies.

“Partner Ideas is a central component of our employee engagement strategy, so I can’t under-estimate the importance we place on partner engagement.

“Our Partners have really embraced Partner Ideas from the off. There is a bonus scheme available to reward ideas that are taken forward, and our partners just like to make a contribution and feel that that contribution is recognised.”

How has the creation of the suggestion scheme been communicated to partners?

Stuart continued: “We’ve worked closely with internal comms to make sure people know about Partner Ideas and also use a business card scheme with managers.

“If a partner comes to a manager with an idea, but the manager is too busy at that time, they can give out a business card with the Partner Ideas details on it.

“Saying that there is a dedicated team at head office to listen to ideas is far more encouraging than a ‘Sorry, I’m too busy right now’.”

Partners have been quick to embrace the feedback scheme, as Stuart is eager to point out.

He added: “People have been very engaged with Partner Ideas – we are averaging more than 20 ideas each week and we have implemented around 20 per cent of those.

“Partners know that not only can they submit an idea, they also know that there is a bespoke team that could, provided the idea has benefit, make that idea a reality.”

To read the full article, visit HR Zone here….