Case Study: Building a Sustainable Culture

“We strive to create a working environment where our employees feel supported and valued, with their achievements recognised and rewarded.”

We strive to create a working environment where our employees feel supported and valued, with their achievements recognised and rewarded.

Melanie Jenkins, HR Director and Sustainability Ambassador at DGUK, shares our vision for our talented and dedicated teams.

In 2020, we started to develop our wellbeing strategy with a different wellbeing campaign for each month of the year.

This year, in particular, we have all faced many challenges as we have navigated our way through the Covid-19 pandemic. 


Why is a wellbeing strategy important?

Our wellbeing strategy has been designed to support our staff to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, both inside and outside of work.  This includes programmes to support the emotional, physical and financial wellbeing of employees.


What initiatives have you implemented as part of the Wellbeing Strategy?

We have recently introduced an employee assistance programme for all staff, as a free confidential counselling and advice service. 

In February 2021, we held a ‘Time to Talk Day’ which aimed to start conversations about mental health, to talk, listen and change lives.  We also identified and trained a number of Mental Health First Aiders across the business.  Our primary aim is to have support mechanisms in place to encourage early intervention and end the stigma associated with mental health. 

We have taken the opportunity to bring people together when we were forced apart and during our third lockdown, we introduced a “Fit for Feb” virtual team challenge.  This was to encourage physical activity where teams competed against each other in a ‘steps’ challenge. This not only generated some healthy competition but got staff out of the house to exercise.

How do you tailor your wellbeing programme to meet the requirements of all staff?

This year we held a  “wellbeing week” that introduced small taster sessions to help shape a programme that tailored for different wants and needs.  We used this an exercise to gain feedback on what worked to help us develop future events.  This included:

– Virtual Yoga Sessions

– “Ted” style talks – Resilience

– Boxercise

– Breathe Work


How do you engage with staff to put new ideas forward?

We have an internal suggestion scheme called “idea generator” and staff can submit ideas via this channel.   The management team are responsible for assessing ideas and providing feedback to the teams.  Ideas that are implemented are rewarded and recognised! 

How do you recognise staff for their achievements?

We operate in a fast-paced, dynamic environment which suits employees with passion and high standards.  We have a performance-led culture with a supportive, yet collaborative, approach.  We encourage employee initiative, drive and challenge and have a demonstrable record of career succession throughout the business.

We have recently implemented a new performance management system which promotes continuous performance discussions, development and succession planning.    In addition to this, we have a built in a recognition “tag” tool that staff and managers can use to recognise good performance and give “kudos” to any member of staff.

Our benefits matrix and salary structure is aligned to ensure that staff are fairly rewarded and we regularly undertake benchmarking activities to understand the market and what is happening in the external environment. 


How do you facilitate feedback from staff?

We have a number of formal communication mechanisms in place, including our Employee Forum, Health and Safety Committee and “Town Hall” style meetings.   We will also be conducting a staff survey this year and will use this as a platform to improve on what we have in place and to gain a better understanding of issues, engagement, morale and how we progress our people strategy.