Bruna

Bruna benchmarks shop staff for the first time

An employee survey conducted solely among Bruna shop staff proved to be a great success. Effectory International then applied the new functional benchmark for retail employees to the information gathered.

Bruna made an agreement with Effectory International several years ago to conduct an employee survey every two years, for eight years. This guaranteed continuity and gave Bruna a good insight into developments within its organisation. But this year, the timing was not right for the national retail chain. Corine van der Meijden, HR Manager at Bruna, explains: "We're currently reorganising our head office, so it didn't seem appropriate to conduct an employee survey there. It did, however, offer a good opportunity to concentrate on the shop staff." Together with Femke Kooijman, an Effectory International consultant, Bruna focused the survey entirely on the employees in Bruna's 40 stores. This meant that questions about cooperation with head office, career development opportunities and aggression in the stores could be added. Femke adds, "Of course, many of the questions were the same as previous years, because you have to be able to continue comparing the results."

Functional benchmark

The comparison not only used figures from earlier Bruna surveys, but also Effectory International's latest data: the functional benchmark. Says Femke: "Effectory International has a large amount of benchmarking data, but comparing numbers at a functional level was something we did at Bruna for the first time. We extracted the numbers relating to retail employees from all the surveys we had conducted in previous years and compared Bruna with them." Corine adds, "We scored above average, which was a real boost." She was extremely positive that Bruna had scored so well on commitment to the organisation. Says Femke: "You don't often see that among shop staff. They have a good relationship with their own branch and their line manager, but not necessarily with the organisation as a whole." Cooperation with head office also scored well. Corine: "You often hear comments in the corridors about how hard it is to reach people or how they don't stick to agreements, but in general our employees are satisfied with head office."

An employee survey conducted solely among Bruna shop staff proved to be a great success. Effectory International applied the new functional benchmark for retail employees to the information gathered. 

Corine is well aware that the good results have not come out of nowhere. Bruna has been working on reducing absenteeism, for example, for some time. That is now bearing fruit. "We train our managers extensively. We now look at absenteeism in a very different way. If someone calls to say he won't be coming in because he slept badly, we say: have a lie in and we'll see you later. It's an approach that works for the organisation, but also for the employee. He feels as if he has been heard, but still maintains his work rhythm." According to Corine, the introduction of mobile managers has also contributed to the positive opinion that shop staff has of the organisation as a whole. "If Bruna takes over a shop, the employees are often faced with a lot of changes. That's when we send in an experienced manager who tells them what to expect, what they are entitled to and so on. That contributes to the 'Bruna feeling'."

Aggression

The good results are in; what now? "I think that we have to concentrate on keeping them that way," says Corine. "We've done a lot to achieve this, and we have to continue doing those things in order not to lose any of the ground we've gained. Furthermore, aggression in the shops is an issue that we need to do more about." And the way in which the survey was conducted? "It's definitely worth doing again," says Corine. "I've already been thinking that it would also be good for the employees at head office, then we could ask specific questions about working with our franchisees, for example. The way in which we approached the survey this time is very useful; I definitely want to repeat that next time as well."

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