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Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit to redefine approach to leadership and wellbeing

Trust Issues. By Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust. From the repercussions of the pandemic to the escalating cost-of-living, today’s retail leaders need to respond… View Article

COMMENTARY

Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit to redefine approach to leadership and wellbeing

Trust Issues. By Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive of the Retail Trust.

From the repercussions of the pandemic to the escalating cost-of-living, today’s retail leaders need to respond to both the shifting dynamics of our industry and the wellbeing needs of our colleagues, with new pressures on their customers and their people placing more demands on businesses both as retailers and employers.

At the same time as retailers prepare for many customers to curb their spending this Christmas, retail workers and employers tell us higher living costs and increasing customer aggression are taking their toll and making it more difficult to retain staff.

We know the best businesses already understand that their financial performance and the morale of their people go hand-in-hand. In fact, retailers we speak to say that a change of just one per cent in terms of staff turnover can cost or save them £150,000 a year.

And the businesses we work with are already taking important steps to improve workplace wellbeing, such as using data to better respond to how their people are feeling or putting in place more support to help them through the higher cost-of-living and in-store abuse.

That’s why we are bringing more than 100 of the sector’s biggest employers together in London on Thursday for the Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit. With businesses like Next, Primark and WHSmith in attendance, we’ll explore the challenges facing their staff and share best practice solutions from across the industry.

We’ll hear from leaders like New Look CEO Helen Connolly, the director of HR change and colleague experience at Sainsbury’s, Hannah Sargeant, and Next’s head of HR and the chair of its LGBT+ employee network, Andrew Jurd, on their experiences in running businesses and teams during this climate.

And we’ll be debating everything from the future of the four-day week in retail to what support we should be putting in place for anyone going through a crisis, as we look to understand what we can all do to create happier and healthier retail workplaces, where everyone feels valued and empowered.

Because as challenging and daunting as the issues facing the industry may be, I believe they give us the impetus we need to redefine our industry’s approach to leadership and wellbeing, with spaces where our employees feel safe discussing the issues that are impacting their mental health, and where the support they need is readily available.

Join us at the Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit to be a part of this important conversation and play your part in creating a more hopeful, healthier and happier future for everyone working in retail.

Visit retailtrust.org.uk/leaders-summit to register for the Retail Trust’s Leaders’ Summit at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah on Thursday 2 November.

 

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