Over 20 retail leaders and experts have joined forces with industry charity retailTRUST to champion the health and wellbeing of its workforce next month following the reopening of non-essential shops across the UK.
Morrisons’s 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 crisis. ASOS, John Lewis, Pets at Home, Pinterest and the BRC are among other organisations being brought together by retailTRUST on 10 and 11 May.
The charity said the event is being run to “help build hope, health and happiness” for everyone working in the retail industry following record demand for retailTRUST’s wellbeing and financial services over the last year, with registrations for the free, virtual event now open.
It revealed that panel sessions over the two days will look at the role of retailers in creating wellbeing; focusing on areas such as dealing with imposter syndrome and managing money worries, with former political aide and mental health advocate Alastair Campbell stressing why employers need to drive openness around mental health.
Other speakers will include ASOS’s CEO Nick Beighton, British Retail Consortium’s chief executive Helen Dickinson and Sach Kukadia, chairman of ReHaus and director of Residently, who will discuss retail businesses’ responsibility for tackling societal issues and making a positive difference following the pandemic.
Nick Beighton, CEO at ASOS, 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.”
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of BRC, added: “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.”
In addition, John Lewis Partnership’s director of people capability Jo Walmsley, Very’s culture and communications director Lauren Young and Pets at Home’s chief people and culture officer Louise Stonier will share how their businesses have supported colleagues through the crisis and what they are now doing to meet employees’ changing needs.
Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of retailTRUST, 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.”