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People

At Chilly’s we strive to create a culture of inclusion and belonging, underpinned through ongoing education and internal campaigns.
Our approach is made up of 3 key areas:

  • D,E&I
  • Wellbeing
  • Employment practices
  • Beyond our own internal people, we are also looking at the wider community that we operate in.
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (D,E&I)

We understand the value that diversity can bring to a business, and the benefit of having a variety of experiences, knowledge and perspectives to draw from.

Our ambition is to create a diverse and inclusive team at Chilly’s. It’s something we’ve been working on in a holistic way, but now want to have data to monitor our progress. To do this, we first need a benchmark of where we are now.

Alongside this benchmarking, we’ve been running regular internal campaigns celebrating key awareness dates such as Pride and Black History Month. We are committed to providing training on D,E&I topics at least once every six months, and wherever possible, welcome external speakers to share their lived experiences with our team. Some recent sessions include:

Inclusive Leadership training for managers
Disability & Belonging Workshop
Neuro-inclusive Collaboration and Communication Workshop

Current team diversity
We measure our diversity internally through a diversity survey on our HR platform. We are also actively working to make our recruitment process more inclusive and attract more diverse candidates.

71% of our employees have completed the diversity survey. We found that of the people who responded:

70% identify as women & gender minorities
24% identify as ethnic minorities
16% identify or have been diagnosed with having a neurodiverse condition

Current diversity of applicants for roles
In order to increase the diversity of our team, we first needed to evaluate the diversity of our candidate pool. To do this, we created a diversity survey to send to all candidates who apply to work at Chilly’s. The survey is anonymous and completing it is optional, but we explain to candidates that the purpose of the survey is to improve our recruitment process and inform our D,E&I strategy.

Of the candidates who have completed the survey since December 2023:

19% identify as having a disability or neurodiverse condition
42% identify as ethnic minorities
15% identify as gay, bisexual or queer

When looking at the results, we can track which stage the respondents reach in the application process, and identify if certain groups are progressing further than others.
The questions cover topics including gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, neurodiversity and disability.

The data we have so far indicates that we are not losing diverse candidates within our recruitment process, but that we need to diversify our candidate pool. To do this, we have decided to trial new job boards specifically targeted at underrepresented groups. We are currently looking into a number of different job boards and aim to select two to advertise on in the next couple of months. We can then use the data from our survey to measure the impact of the job boards on the diversity of our candidates.

What we’ve changed so far
We have also done a complete overhaul of our recruitment process, looking at every touchpoint with our candidates to make it as equitable as possible.

Changes include:

Reviewing all of our email templates, updating them and adding more to increase clarity and communication
Testing new interview methods to reduce bias
Checking all job descriptions for ableist and gender specific language, or any other language that might make someone feel they would not belong at Chilly’s

Training and internal activations - D,E&I Calendar of activity
A core part of our approach to D,E&I at Chilly’s is running regular internal campaigns and education. We are committed to providing training on D,E&I topics at least once every six months.

We have a calendar of events and training related to D,E&I. Below are the moments we have had in 2023/2024.





As we continue to train and develop our processes, we’ll continue to monitor our diversity against the benchmark we’ve established.

Wellbeing

We are consistently reviewing how we support employee wellbeing, and run a calendar of Wellbeing campaigns alongside our D,E&I ones. These internal activations and events are at the heart of our commitment to creating a culture of inclusion and belonging.





**Benefits**

We have trained three Mental Health First Aiders within the business, and have provided Mental Health Awareness training to others.

Our benefits package takes a holistic approach to wellbeing, with a range of benefits focused on providing physical, mental and financial wellbeing support:

Access to free counselling with clinically trained experts
24/7 access to an online GP
Financial support from expert advisers
BUPA Healthcare and BUPA Cash Plan
Income Protection and Life Assurance

We review our benefits on a regular basis and benchmark externally to ensure they are competitive.

Employee sentiment

In addition to our benefits and campaigns, we keep informed on how our employees feel via our engagement survey. The survey is sent every six months and focuses on topics such as growth, motivation and belief, and wellbeing.

The results from our December 2023 survey are below:



Our overall score was 83.5%, exceeding our target of 80%. However, there are areas where we did not meet our target, where we will be focusing our efforts this year.

Acting on feedback

These results guide our strategy and focus areas. We run in person think tanks to discuss the survey feedback, giving employees from across the company the opportunity to share further comments and suggestions.

Many changes have been implemented as a result of our think tanks, including:

Core hours policy which gives employees flexibility with the hours they work
Mechanisms to celebrate achievements within the team
Enhancing our approach to learning and development





**Employment Practices**

Our effort in employment practices focuses on creating a workplace that enables our employees to thrive.

We go beyond what we are legally required to do in many areas. We identify how we can best support our employees by benchmarking ourselves consistently against other businesses. We also attend external events and work with experts in our field.

Some of the policies where we’re going beyond include:

Bereavement Leave policy - we are reviewing the parameters of our Bereavement Leave policy to make it more inclusive
A ‘Right to Disconnect’ policy - formally outlining our employee’s right not to be contacted or expected to work outside of their normal working hours
Period Policy - breaking down the taboo and ensuring that employees who have menstrual cycles have access to supplies, facilities, and adjustments when needed.
Neurodiversity at Work Policy - Outlining the benefits of neuro-inclusive teams, and encouraging neurodiverse employees to seek support and reasonable adjustments when needed.

One area where we are looking to push ourselves further is salary transparency. We are empowering our leaders to have open conversations with their team members on where their salary falls within the salary banding that they sit within, and will be building further on this over the coming year.

We regularly benchmark our salaries against other companies of similar size using our compensation management tool, FiguresHR. We make changes where appropriate in line with the Living Wage Foundation.

Community
At Chilly’s, the “People” pillar also covers our wider community, including our customers, audience online and those local to where we operate. Our ambition is to ensure that we are having a positive impact on these communities.

In the last year, our focus has been on supporting our charity partner, City to Sea, with their Refill campaign. A core part of this was to engage and provide support to community groups, from local people to businesses and councils, to tackle single-use plastic in their area. (More on this in the Our Values section).

As we finished our charity partnership with City to Sea at the end of 2023, we are exploring ways that we can continue to support our local communities in a different way.



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