By Helen Webb, Chief People and Services Officer
Our colleagues are the backbone of our Co-op, and the last couple of months have been filled with plenty of proud moments for me, as lots of you have been recognised for your amazing work.
The icing on the cake has been winning the “best of the best” trophy at the 2019 Personnel Today Awards. We were awarded the Overall Winner trophy, in recognition for what we’ve achieved with more colleagues staying with us, high engagement scores and an improved talent pipeline. We also scooped the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year for what the judges described as an ambitious programme “to transform retail jobs into retail careers”.
It’s great that our hard work is being recognised within the industry and beyond. And that recognition doesn’t come more highly, than with the royal seal of approval. I’m delighted to announce that our Co-op Food Apprenticeship programme has been awarded the Princess Royal Training award 2019. The Princess Royal and City & Guilds Group honour outstanding workplace training. The award recognises our commitment to training and the positive impact that developing our staff has had on our business. Tracey Lancaster, Food Apprenticeship Manager and Kevin Tilburn, Store Manager went along to St James’ Palace to collect this from HRH Princess Anne.
Tracey told us:
Four years ago I was given what I saw as a privilege to set up Food Retail and a Degree apprenticeship programme in Co-op. For me the highlights are seeing the apprentices complete their programmes, develop themselves and progress their careers. We now have almost 200 Food apprentices who’ve passed or achieved Distinction and a further 22 “pre-apprentices” who’ve been able to move on to a full apprenticeship. I’m looking forward to the next 200 apprentices achieve their success.
Additionally, we’ve had an incredibly successful run collecting no fewer than four other awards!
The Butterfly Awards celebrates the work of those who support survivors of babyloss. It’s an important platform to bring this often taboo topic into the light. Funeral Director Annabel Davies was recognised at the event, winning the title of Best Bereavement Worker. Sam Tyrer, Managing Director of Funeralcare had a few words to say on this win:
I’m always exceptionally proud of our colleagues in Funeralcare. The personal care and commitment they show to help the families we support say the very best goodbye they can is second to none. Annabel takes this to the next level by using her own very personal, and emotional experience to help others. She’s such an inspiration to all of us and we’re so very, very proud to have her as part of the Funeralcare team. It’s colleagues like Annabel that day in, day out demonstrate our Co-op difference
Leading food industry magazine The Grocer has recognised not one, but two of our colleagues as The Grocers Top Young Talent. This prestigious award is presented to a shortlist of 36 of the up and coming talents in the food and drink industry for 2019.
In order for our Co-op to be successful, we need to open the right shops in the right locations, and as Head of New Stores, Tony Hind has been recognised for his approach to leading the way and growing our business. Our Product Developer Cameron Rigg was also recognised in the same category and we’re super proud of him.
Finally, our Family Law team scooped The Law Society Excellence Awards in Innovation and Technology. The judges recognised that ‘by digitalising divorce paperwork, using content marketing and technology, that aids a more balanced working life for staff. We’ve created a positive impact for clients, colleagues and our business.’
Congratulations and well done to everyone involved for these special achievements and awards.