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Meet the Top Employers
Meet the Top Employers

Q&A with QVC's Rachael Egerton

Leading UK retailer QVC has been certified by the Top Employers Institute now for five years. We speak with Rachael Egerton to find out more about what makes them a Top Employer and the HR initiatives that they are most proud of.

For those that don’t know; Who are QVC?

QVC is one of the UK’s leading retailers, with an annual gross revenue of $813M in the UK in 2017. We create the world’s most curated and engaging shopping experiences, combining the best of retail, media, and social.  QVC broadcasts live 16 hours a day, 364 days a year to all UK TV homes. Digitally there are over 15,000 products on QVCUK.com from Beauty, Fashion, Jewellery, Accessories, Interiors, Gardening, Technology, Food and more with a mixture of big name brands and new discoveries.  

Part of the global group, Qurate, QVC is available in 7 markets and the UK was the second to launch 25 years ago. Since the launch 1 in 4 adults have shopped at QVC in the UK and nearly 2,000 people work at QVC in the UK, based in London’s state of the art studios and Knowsley’s award-winning contact centre. It’s a big and exciting retail business! 

What does being a Top Employer mean to you?

Pride!  We are among the best and this is validated independently.  As a QVC team we celebrate this achievement together and the part we all play in achieving this status.  We can be confident and proud when searching for new and attracting the best talent and we clearly understand our proposition as an employer of choice for many.  It adds a depth to our brand.

What makes QVC a Top Employer?

It’s an organisation that is committed to creating opportunity and a team member experience that is relevant, meaningful and has impact.  It’s more than just saying it, it’s being brave to open your doors and to understand how you compare with others.  A desire and commitment to continually evolve and improve, to learn and adapt and be innovative.  Having a real passion to make a difference.

Which recent activities/initiatives is the HR team most proud of? 

This is tough as we have so much going on and I’m lucky to work with such a strong team of HR professionals.  We couldn’t do what we do and have the impact without a CEO and senior leadership team being the advocates they are at QVC.

We continue to demonstrate our investment in the development of our team members and enhance our leadership capabilities.  This quarter alone we have over 200 leaders attending development focussed sessions. 

Our Talent management processes evolve and grow as we mature as a global organisation.  We have shown how we can leverage our scale and our talent pools from across our Retail group and as a result have created many opportunities for team members to work in other countries for both long and short term assignments.  We are collectively benefitting from this sharing of best practice, knowledge and expertise.  We sustain our approach to talent management as we continue to build out robust plans for future development and succession and really engage to understand the aspirations of our team members.

Wellbeing of our team members has always been top of our agenda and continues to be so.  We are focussing on what can be complex and challenging topics, such as mental wellbeing.

We want to ensure our approach to wellbeing at QVC is relevant and meaningful for our team members and supports beyond the workplace environment and can extend to home life and family & friends.  Mental wellbeing is a prevalent topic societally and we wanted to be talking to our team members about this too.  This is what we are about, we talk, we understand each other and we build real relationships here at QVC.

We are proud to partner with the Retail Trust, who hosted specific talks for our team members and we followed up with focussed team member communications and initiatives. In the first quarter of 2018 we’ve seen a real increase in the uptake of our employee assistance services: 82 people have called their helpline compared to 111 in the whole of 2017. We have also seen an increase in men calling the helpline, which hopefully means that we are starting to break down the stigma for a demographic who have historically not been as prevalent seeking support.

What’s next for HR in QVC/ What are you working on now?

The Qurate retail group is relatively new and there’s an incredible opportunity to build on the culture of the newly formed 5 brands, of which QVC is a large part. Each brands has a very distinct ‘personality’ but similar ways of working which will allow us to create one team member experience across all markets and brands. With 27,000 global team members this is a really exciting and important project.

The next step is to design and launch the Qurate Retail Group Team Member Engagement Tool, which will enable us to check in with our teams to ensure we stay connected, keep listening and continue to focus on what’s important.    

I am also particularly excited about partnering with our Global Diversity & Inclusion lead on how we share and realise our Vision across our Qurate Retail group and the opportunity this presents for our team members.

What do you see in the future of HR? 

There are always some new challenges on the horizon for our teams and that’s why for me, my role remains both challenging and continues to engage my curiosity. What I am confident in is that championing the team member experience in all we do and how we do it will remain at the core.

 

 

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