Retailers join forces with the Retail Trust to boost staff wellbeing 

Some of Britain’s biggest retail employers are joining forces with industry charity the Retail Trust at a new event to tackle deteriorating mental health and large staff shortages across the sector.

The Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit on Thursday 3 November will unite more than a hundred leaders from brands like Next, FatFace, River Island and B&Q to explore what retailers can do to boost wellbeing, attract more workers to the industry and protect staff from rising levels of customer abuse.

It follows research by the Retail Trust from earlier this year which found more than eight out of 10 retail workers had experienced a recent decline in their mental health.

One in five British retail workers and a third of people working for the UK’s biggest retailers said they were also planning to quit the sector amidst already critical staffing gaps, with the UK recording the lowest level of unemployment since 1974.

The one-day event for HR and people directors will be led by mental health trailblazers and retail experts such as Will Crumble, CEO of FatFace, Adam Warne, CIO of River Island, and Sarah Welsh, CEO of N Brown.

Nick Beighton, CEO of Matchesfashion, Dame Fiona Kendrick, former chair and CEO of Nestle UK&I and Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium are among others who will share their experiences and advice for creating a happier workforce. 

There will be panel discussions and workshops on everything from building wellbeing strategies and tackling issues with retention and recruitment, to preventing customer aggression and the role of employers in supporting staff experiencing domestic abuse.

Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust, said: “The retail industry needs a happy and healthy workforce if it is to survive and thrive so we’re uniting the retailers who are ready to address many of the issues and uncertainty facing so many people working in the sector right now.

“Together, we want to reposition UK retail as an exciting, vibrant and people-first industry so they can attract and retain more workers, and to provide the tools, services and channels that will empower colleagues to begin to take control of their health and wellbeing.”

The Retail Trust Leaders’ Summit is also being supported by Dentons, Foot Anstey, Kärcher and Wagestream.

Visit Retailtrust.org.uk/leaders-summit to register for the Retail Trust Leaders’ Summit at Pan Pacific London on Thursday 3 November.

Panels and workshops

The big work-life rethink – how do we solve the recruitment and retention issue?

Your staff are your superpower – why retail should adopt a business-leading approach to wellbeing

Solving the intolerance epidemic – how to best protect your colleagues when faced with abuse

It’s time to work together to tackle domestic abuse – how retailers can be key to helping employees in abusive relationships

Getting rid of the myth of the flawless leader – why mental health should be considered a corporate risk

Put your own oxygen mask on first – what people leaders can do to look after their own wellbeing

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