HRO Today Global Autumn 2017 - 40

Recognition
Attention to
Retail
Take a closer look at how Shop Direct revamped its recognition strategy
during a big transition.
By Christa Elliott
Today, Shop Direct is a multi-brand, online retailer
serving the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company's
4,700 on and offline employees successfully ship more
than 50 million products every year, but its digital
success was a long time coming. Only after transitioning
to an online platform and rethinking the way that it
recognised its workforce was Shop Direct able to meet
its full potential and become the retail success that
it is today.
Shop Direct was born from the iconic British retailer
Littlewoods-a company founded more than 80 years
ago when mass-market retailing was in its infancy.
Although Shop Direct became a brand well-loved by
consumers, the shift to online shopping and marketing
over time meant that the U.K.-based retailer had
to adapt alongside industry developments or risk
becoming obsolete.
Every change to the market put them a little further
behind the curve, and by the early 2000s, Shop Direct
found itself fighting for survival. It needed to find
a way to successfully transition the business from
catalogue-based shopping to an online retailer. Amidst
these struggles, Shop Direct also had many frustrated
[40]
HRO TODAY GLOBAL
|
AUTUMN 2017
employees who felt that they were not getting
recognised for their hard work in a consistent and fair
way.
" There were some great pockets of best practice, but
for others, this lack of 'fairness and consistency' led
to colleagues feeling undervalued, " Colin Watt, Shop
Direct's director of colleague engagement, relations,
and people services explains.
The challenge, he says, was to develop a recognition
scheme that could accommodate all 4,700 workers across
multiple sites and shift patterns, from offi ce-based
colleagues and customer service representatives to
those working in the warehouses. The scheme needed
to be digital, easy to use, and incorporate a consistent
reward strategy. It also needed to have clear ties to the
company's purpose- to " make good things accessible
to more people " -and its values.
Shop Direct's leadership knew that in order to foster
better relationships with their customers and strengthen
the business as they transitioned to digital, they needed
to ensure that their employees were aligned with the
company's purpose. After assessing the company's

HRO Today Global Autumn 2017

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