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2015/2016 Objectives & Achievements

  • Further graduate intake in September 2015
    • New graduate scheme launched, recruiting five graduates, each of whom reports to an Executive Board member and rotates around different functions, to gain a broad understanding of the business.
  • Review pay and benefits structure to ensure that it remains competitive and meets the needs of the business, taking into account the implications of the new National Living Wage
    • Agreed new Pay & Benefits principles for our Retail and Store Support Centre colleagues. In Retail, we re-contracted all colleagues and increased our established pay rate significantly above the National Living Wage. At the Store Support Centre we have introduced levels and pay banding to ensure fairness and consistency.
  • Respond to issues and opportunities arising from the engagement surveys to take place in September 2015 and March 2016
    • Survey held in September 2015 with over 80% response rate and improved overall engagement each time. Actions to address issues agreed and implemented by the Executive Board. The March 2016 survey was deferred pending appointment of a new third party provider.
  • Implement a new Learning Management System to enable training to be delivered at the touch of a button
    • Implemented in February 2016, giving all colleagues access to interactive training and development materials and support.

What do we do?

We employ almost 9,000 colleagues across our business; in stores, our distribution and manufacturing operations, our contact centre in Radcliffe, and our store support centre team in Leicester.

We are an equal opportunities employer; our policy is to recruit, develop, promote and retain skilled and motivated people regardless of disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status or age.

At the end of the financial period, the breakdown of male and female colleagues was as follows:

  Male Female % Female
Group Board 7 2 22%
Executive Board 6 4 40%
Senior Management Team 22 11 33%
All colleagues 2,880 6,088 68%

We maintain regular communication with our colleagues via a weekly email from our Chief Executive (‘John’s Journal’), through regular store manager ‘huddles’, our Dunelm Gazette magazine which is published at least quarterly, and via the computer-based ‘Dunelm My Learning’, to which all colleagues have access.

We operate a Colleagues’ Council, through which colleague representatives can raise and discuss ideas and concerns with senior management. These are fed back to the Executive Board for consideration and action. In addition, we run a colleague engagement survey, the output of which is fed back to the Executive Board.

We offer a range of training and development opportunities to colleagues at all levels of the business. These include:

  • Nationally accredited modern apprenticeships and NVQs.
  • Our graduate programme, which leads to an Institute of Leadership and Management qualification.
  • Support for colleagues studying for professional qualifications, such as in finance, HR and IT.
  • Workshops in management skills, such as leadership and communications.
  • Interactive computer based product knowledge.

Other 2015/2016 achievements

As part of our initiative to provide more opportunities for our store based colleagues we have promoted 116 colleagues to Retail Management positions, filling 68% of vacancies from homegrown talent.

Increased capability in our Executive Board and Senior Management Team by recruiting 14 new senior colleagues.

Invested in a leadership development programme for our Senior Management Team, with contributions from external experts including our Non-Executive Directors.

2016/17 objectives

Deliver a ‘Sell More’ programme to colleagues to support them in being able to serve and sell.

A new approach to colleague engagement, using the same method as for customer feedback, which allows colleagues to give feedback more regularly and at their convenience.

Reinforce the Key Business Principles aligning the way we attract, reward and develop colleagues.

Evolve our recruitment and training programmes, such as introducing a ‘Dunelm degree’ offering the chance to work and study towards a degree level qualification as an alternative to attending a fee-paying university; and developing our high-potential graduate schemes.