Platinum Employer - A great place to work

Posted on August 22, 2017
Author: Sam Reed

Why did we embark on Platinum Employer and what are we

trying to achieve?

Platinum Employer is the key initiative to support Specsavers 2020 ambition of becoming ‘famous as a great place to work’. This is about building the employee brand which will encompass everything a Business Director does to manage the lifecycle of employees within their business.

It’s about demonstrating that we genuinely care about our people – they are intrinsic to our success
as a business and we need to ensure that we look after them accordingly.

To break that down, we have over 1000 businesses that are run by our Partners who all own a share of the business. We want to ensure that the 20,000 employees across these businesses consistently have the same positive experience and opportunities.

The recruitment market for optometrists is tough and we need to make sure that we have the most compelling offering in order to attract and retain the best people.

Finally, we know that looking after our staff will ensure that our customers also have a great experience.

What is it?

It is effectively our own Specsavers’ version of Investors in People. It is an externally validated accreditation scheme which covers 5 key areas of people management standards:

  • Talent Management
  • Recruitment & Induction
  • Performance Management & Reward
  • Learning and Development
  • Employee Communications and Engagement 

External credibility

In order for Platinum Employer to have credibility externally, it needed to be designed and validated with an independent third party, which is where Hay Group come in. They are one of the largest global HR specialist consultancies and as well as being involved in validating the ongoing accreditation process, have also been instrumental in helping to design the standards which make up Platinum Employer. This has helped to ensure that Specsavers businesses meeting these standards will provide a great experience for their employees – and will also be able to shout about this externally.

How are we getting on?

We now have over 230 businesses across the UK and Republic of Ireland that have been successfully awarded the Specsavers Platinum Employer accreditation. These businesses have been through a rigorous review of their people management practices across each of the 5 standards, including employee questionnaires and detailed interviews. We have many more businesses engaged with the programme, currently working towards achieving the Platinum employer standards.

Why are we doing it?

Quotes from some of our partners involved in the Platinum review process...

'I think we forget a lot of the great stuff which becomes routine and meetings like today's (Platinum review meeting) really bring it back to mind, where it needs to be.' Pat, Mansfield

'I feel that my store is a good store to work in but I want to make it a “great” store to work in. Platinum makes you sit down and reassess your business, and creates a level of excellence to aspire to.' Julia, St Andrews

'We think we are a pretty good employer but have grown quite a lot recently and wanted to make sure we still have good processes in place.' Jonathan, Stratford-on-Avon

'We are constantly challenging ourselves to deliver for our customers, so why not do it for our teams too.' Emma, Omagh

'We were interested in finding ways to improve job satisfaction, staff morale and decrease staff turnover.' Nicola, Southampton

Benefits so far 

Having reviewed the performance of our Platinum approved stores across our core customer service performance indicators, we are seeing them consistently out perform their non-Platinum counterparts by up to as much as 23% in certain KPIs.

What next?

We are committed to Platinum and are continuing to support the rest of our businesses to work towards achieving the Platinum Employer standards