Winner: Aldi

Aldi isn’t just the price leader. It’s setting the industry agenda on pay for its 41,000 colleagues – a double whammy for rivals with far bigger workforces that have to follow suit, and vital to support the discounter’s continued expansion, with 43 new stores opened in 2022 and no signs of the store opening programme abating. 

In 18 months Aldi has raised pay four times, always ahead of the market, and over the last 12 months it’s risen 13% – and up to 20% for warehouse staff. It’s also the only supermarket to pay for breaks.

And it’s not just on pay that Aldi impressed. This is the second year running that Aldi has won the employer of the year. But far from being a cut and paste there were a whole host of new benefits and initiatives.

There were new finder’s fee staff bonus schemes; a new menopause support approach; a new baby loss policy (and new toolkit for leaders); new fertility treatment allowance; new domestic abuse financial support (of up to £2k); new discounts on financial and personal wellbeing services; new 24/7 healthcare free of charge via a Digital GP Services app (used by over 5,000 employees) and Social Wellness hub; a new hub for D&I resources (including a Social Wellness area with help on housing and caring); and  new tools for personal development and interactive learning and the introduction of ‘Evolve’ managers to deliver the training; while additional financial planning benefits including the new free will service that launched in 2021 really came into its own with 221 free will writing applications made, along with 1,541 claims through the health cash plan.

In short, Aldi is looking after its colleagues like never before. And it’s working on multiple levels: not just in the 750,000 job applications (or the £650,000 fee paid out for successful referrals) but the 50% increase in promotions to management positions and the plans for a record 500 apprentices.

There’s the 72% employee retention rate, and the fact that 83% of respondents felt their leader supported them through change. And amid strong engagement generally with new apps and other new services over a million pieces of learning have assigned to colleagues since the August 2022 launch of the MyLearning app.


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