5. ENGAGING OUR PEOPLE
We want Matthew Algie to be a great place to work. To that end, protecting our employees’ human rights, improving their wellbeing, and promoting an inclusive working culture is always at the forefront of our minds. We also look for opportunities to help educate, motivate, and inspire young people in our community, on topics such as sustainability and innovation.
Improving Employee Benefits
As part of our efforts in improve our employee experience, Perkbox was launched in December 2021. Perkbox is an online employee benefit platform which gives access to exclusive online savings; free access to Aura, providing 3,000+ meditations, life coaching, stories, and sounds; a free birthday gift; a free weekly treat; as well as a free Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) from Health Assured.
The EAP supports the rise in awareness of wellbeing and mental health. It provides access to a 24/7 confidential helpline and 4 free structured counselling sessions. Their fully qualified counsellors can help employees to identify and resolve the real issues behind any of life’s problems, including mental health, financial wellbeing, physical illness, work life and personal life.
We launched another employee benefit at the beginning of 2021 called Medicash. It allows our employees to take a more positive approach to their health by providing financial support for medical appointments such as routine dental and optical appointments, as well as specialist consultations and diagnostic tests and scans. Medicash also provides employees with other great benefits such as: a virtual GP service, 24/7 health and stress helplines, discounted gym membership and discounts on cinema tickets and brands.
Being More Communicative, Reflective and Transparent
As noted in our previous reports, over the last few years we have been working more closely across the Tchibo Coffee Service UK group with Tchibo Coffee International and Capitol Foods. To reflect these changes, we launched our new employee engagement survey to gain anonymous, honest feedback from all employees across these business entities. Results were fed back by department and managers used this to create action plans for improvements.
In 2022, we re-launched our Colleague Forums where representatives from different parts of the business can bring their questions, comments, and requests to senior leadership. Towards the end of the year, we also launched the “Coffee Cast” – a company podcast where employees can submit questions to that episode’s guest. The first guests to be interviewed were our Group Managing Director and our Head of Marketing.
We launched our internal social media, Workplace, in 2021. It allows us to easily share updates from different departments, new policy or legislation changes, achievements, promotions, or anything else that would be worth updating colleagues on.
We hope that these improvements should help the flow of information and ensure employee views are listened to and considered.
Real Living Wage Employer
In 2021, the Coffee Service Group was awarded the Real Living Wage accreditation for committing to a minimum wage of £9.90 per hour across the Group. We introduced this because we believe it is the right thing to do, and we hope it will increase employee motivation and retention rates.
At the end of 2022, the Group announced during Real Living Wage Week that the Living Wage Foundation had increased their hourly rate to £10.90 – an increase of 10.1%.The Living Wage Foundation asked accredited companies to make the increase by May 2023. Due to the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing economic challenges in the UK, the Coffee Service Group increased its Real Living Wage from 1st January 2023. It means that all employees from the beginning of 2023 are paid a minimum of £10.90 per hour for the work that they do.
At Matthew Algie, we place great importance on the development of young people in our local area. Since 2017, we have offered 15 student placement or apprenticeship positions and of these, 4have been offered permanent employment.
Helen, who joined QA as part of a student placement in 2021, was offered permanent employment in 2022 following the completion of her honours degree. She describes in her own words how the placement has helped her, “I was delighted to be contacted by Matthew Algie about a role with the QA team. I had loved my placement here and it was great starting a new job where I was already familiar with the team and some of my tasks. The working environment here is great and there is always so much more for me to learn.”