An interview with Pets at Home, this year’s Best Wellbeing in the Workplace Strategy: Large Organisation winner

Pets at home wellbeing iwn

Pets at Home Group was awarded this year, for not just looking after pets for the last 30 years, but for looking after their colleagues too. From their core values and behaviours to the benefits they offer, such as flexible working, physical and mental wellbeing practices, and financial wellbeing - Pets at Home are truly committed to bettering, and supporting their colleague’s mental health.

“The culture at Pets at Home just sets it apart from anywhere else that I have worked before. From the first contact at the application stage, through to onboarding and support, you receive from your manager and team, it really is better at Pets!” - one colleague said.

We caught up with Becky Broughall, Colleague Experience & Wellbeing Lead at Pets at Home, to discuss what winning this award meant to them, their journey with wellbeing, and what we can expect to see from Pets at Home in the future.

Discussing with Becky why she believes Pets at Home were chosen as the winners of this award she told us about what they offer their colleagues that sets them apart from other businesses. “We aren’t just ticking boxes, but actually listening to our colleagues and implementing initiatives based on what they tell us they need,” she said.

“We’re constantly working on the next initiative, listening to our colleagues and keeping a close eye on what we can do to provide more support. In the last few weeks, we launched our new Wellbeing Handbook which brings everything we offer in one place. Colleagues now have a one-stop-shop to find what they need, when they need it – and can keep it to hand on their device for quick access.”

Here at the Great British Workplace Wellbeing Awards, it’s so important for us to celebrate those businesses truly paving the way for workplace wellbeing practice, so we wanted to find out what it meant to those who win the awards.

“To be recognised for our commitment to wellbeing means a lot to us as it’s such a genuine commitment.

“To be recognised alongside some other fantastic businesses is an honour and it was a great evening celebrating all things wellbeing in a room of like-minded people,” said Becky.

One of the many reasons Pets at Home was chosen as this year’s winner was due to the many benefits they offer their colleagues to ensure they are seen, supported, and heard. They do this by focusing on 4 main pillars – mental health, physical & nutritional, financial and social wellbeing, and ensuring they create initiatives to support these 4 pillars.

They are clearly already doing a great job at supporting all of their colleagues, so we were interested to find out about their journey with workplace wellbeing, what they are currently doing, and what we can expect from them in the near future.

“We are providing mental health training to many of our colleagues, upskilling them to be able to support one another, but also able to recognise when they might need help too. We are training one Mental Health First Aider in each of our Vet Practices and all our field support colleagues such as Area Managers have received this training too. All our Store Managers and First Line Managers at our Distribution Centres are currently receiving Line Manager’s Mental Health Training and we’ll soon be rolling this out to every single line manager at our Support Offices.

“We’re also members of the Retail Trust and have recently committed to the Children & Young Person’s mental health support they provide, along with extended counselling, providing up to eight sessions to our colleagues, should they need this,” said Becky.

On top of all of this, they are committed to keeping up with the current climate, and staying on top of what could be a hard year for many, due to financial changes, and rises in the cost of living.

To support their colleagues during this time Becky added, “We’re sharing weekly videos with colleagues signposting them to the support we provide, which includes our own internal Colleague Hardship Fund, which since 2020 has awarded grants to colleagues totalling over £1.2m.” As well as physical financial support, Pets at Home is also passionate about educating colleagues about finances - providing financial education through internal platforms. “This includes information on current government schemes, budget planners and other money tools, savings and retirement information and loads more.”

As such a large organisation it’s really inspiring to see how much Pets at Home care about the wellbeing of its colleagues, and we hope other businesses follow in their footsteps.

So, lastly, we asked, what makes Pets at Home a great place to work?

“It truly is the people. The care, detail and commitment that is shown from everyone at Pets at Home is unmatched. Our colleagues live our values and behaviours every day, enabling us to continue on our journey to become the best pet care business in the world.”