Opening one store a week on average, Aldi has had to adapt its employment model to meet the needs of an evolving workforce. Last year, it launched a new strategy called Embrace, built on five strategic pillars. The first was to capture data on areas of under-representation to help remove barriers to recruitment and progression.
It also worked with specialist agencies to increase applications from under-represented groups, partnered with Disability Rights UK to improve the experience of disabled employees, and created a bespoke ‘Supporting Mental Wellness’ course to help managers better understand mental wellbeing and support colleagues who may be experiencing difficulties.
Aldi also introduced four new colleague benefits, including a free will for all employees on top of discounted health plans and accessible financial support. And in February, as inflation began to bite, Aldi increased pay rates for 28,000 store staff to £10.10 an hour nationally and £11.55 for those inside the M25. Aldi says it is the only supermarket to offer paid breaks, worth £750 a year to an average store employee.
“When you look at some of the areas where Aldi is based, the fundamentals of paying the most, not having any barriers to promotion, and having really strong on-the-job training, is what lifts families into higher levels of aspiration,” said one judge. “For me, that’s what good employment should be about.”
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