Angie Risley: Sainsbury’s Wins Gold for Investing in People

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As a proud sponsor of the British Paralympic Association, we’re really excited about all the gold medals being won in Rio. But it’s not just our beloved athletes who are winning gold awards. This week, we’re celebrating achieving the Investors in People Gold Standard for the third consecutive time.

Sainsbury’s is the largest employer to have ever reached the Gold Standard and the only retailer to have ever achieved three consecutive gold awards since this measure of best practice was established in 1991.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve results. Attaining this honour is no easy feat – only 14% of companies awarded Investors in People status achieve the Gold Standard – and we underwent a diligent assessment to prove that Sainsbury’s is indeed a great place to work.

Conducted over a four-month period, the assessment involved over 1600 meetings with colleagues, and 4000 responses to an internal online survey. Investors in People practitioners visited our supermarkets, convenience stores, support centres and a depot to meet with colleagues, team leaders, managers and executives, and speak openly with them about what it’s like to work for Sainsbury’s and about the future strategy of the business. As part of the review, Investors in People considered many things, such as whether we listen and act on feedback, how we develop and support our colleagues through learning, and how we spot talent.

Discussions with colleagues were then measured against Investors in People’s rigorous framework – a set of criteria focused around nine different indicators in the areas of leadership, colleague support and recognition, and professional development. To achieve the prestigious gold accreditation, we had to meet all nine indicators at the ‘developed’ and ‘established’ levels, and seven of the nine indicators at the ‘advanced’ level.

Areas where we performed exceptionally well were in providing professional development opportunities and strong leadership, as colleagues felt confident that the company is being led through change with resilience and flexibility – a true testament to our commitment to being the most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop.

Our Investors in People status is valid for three years, having been accredited our first gold back in 2010. I want to thank everyone who was involved in this process and for showing that once again, it’s our colleagues who really do make the difference.

Angie Risley, Group HR Director