The Dutch organisation is headquartered in Amsterdam where it was founded 20 years ago by current CEO Raymond Cloosterman. Globally, it employs 5,250 staff in 27 countries, across its 550 stories and 1,500 shop-in-shops and four urban spas. This includes 170 employees in 21 stores in the UK and Ireland.
Rolling out a new online platform called Connect has helped to motivate and engage staff, as well as celebrate employees’ success during a time of rapid expansion, says Katherine Gee, head of HR, UK and Ireland at Rituals.
“Our stores are remote and, as much as we’re connected, we can’t always have that face-to-face, personal feel which is really important,” she continues. “We use traditional methods like site visits and emails, but we use Connect, which is very similar to Instagram. We can post different communications and remind people what is available in their employee benefits provided by Perkbox.”
Employees also use Connect to share sales success stories and things customers have said about products, as well as to ask questions. In addition, HR use it to communicate updates, post their monthly newsletter, and promote health and wellbeing via the Perkbox hub, which functions as an employee assistance programme, connecting staff to qualified therapists for advice and support.
More than a third (39%) of employees logged in on Connect’s first operating day in April 2018, rising to 62% after five weeks.
The organisation also uses Connect to promote its six company values: meaning, authentic, accessible, innovative, inner beauty and outer beauty, and best in class.
“It’s all about connectivity and we expect everyone to use it, whether you’re head of a department, or working in a store,” explains Gee. “We promote its use at every opportunity. We very much want to celebrate our success and there are lots of individual posts on Connect that do so.”
The great advantage of a platform like Connect, says Gee, is that it can be updated easily to keep up with changes in the fast-paced world of retail, especially as the organisation is opening six more stores this year.
In addition, store employees have access to the Rituals Learn app, where they can learn about products. “It connects and engages the team and allows them to build a connection with their clients too,” Gee explains.
However, face-to-face interaction always remains crucial to the organisation, according to Gee. “Our training sessions are usually face-to-face, and as one of our values is ‘accessible’, face-to-face is very important; we want to listen to feedback from our store colleagues, so we visit stores as well as staff posting feedback on Connect.”