Corporate Social Responsibility
The Group has always prided itself on acting responsibly in every aspect of the business. We operate with three core values, of being trusted, open and passionate about our business. We believe that engaging with our stakeholders, be that, employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, suppliers or the wider local communities we operate in, and living our values, are the best ways to develop long term relationships for mutual benefit.
At Ramsdens we believe that being a diverse organisation allows us to grow and become the business we aspire to be. Our aim is to ensure that all employees at Ramsdens are treated equally and are able to grow and develop their careers with the business while ensuring equality is maintained and demonstrated throughout all aspects of their career journey with us.
The success the Group has had to date, is down to its people. Implementing a continuous improvement ethos can only be achieved because of the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of the people within the business. In return we are committed to create a working environment in which the employee can grow and develop, be well rewarded and well respected for what they contribute.
The Group is an equal opportunities employer and we believe in appointing the best person based purely on merit to any role within the business. The Group is committed to ensure that people undertaking the same or similar work are paid equally and have an equal opportunity to progress. The Business encourages flexible working arrangements for people to continue to develop their careers whilst choosing how to maintain their balance between work and home life.
The Group has comprehensive training programmes. These start with a week long, classroom-based induction into the business, and supplemented by instore mentoring, e-learning courses and area face to face training sessions. Every staff member has one to one development discussions with their Line Manager and training courses are provided as required. Certain training courses are mandatory and must be completed on an annual basis e.g. health and safety, data protection, cyber risks and anti-money laundering, whilst other courses focus on the development of an individual’s skills. During the last year there has been a major investment in a new retail jewellery course, which continues to be rolled out. The top 35 people influencers in the business are continuing with their Senior Management Leadership programme.
Where possible the Group wishes to promote from within. The three Regional Managers, five of the eleven Area Managers and five of the seven Internal Auditors and over 50% of the Branch managers were promoted from within the business.
Staff engagement is important to the Board. The Group operates a staff suggestion scheme and a department feedback scheme. Both are well supported as our people contribute to how we can continue to evolve and improve our products or processes. A centrally issued weekly newsletter keeps all staff informed on Group matters.
The Group has a philosophy of wanting to share the financial success of the business with staff. In addition to basic remuneration of pay and pension, each member of staff in head office or branch has the ability to earn a performance related bonus. The Group has introduced health insurance for its senior management team and all staff benefited from their birthday being an additional day’s holiday in our last financial year and will do so again in the current financial year.
As part of the Board’s desire to reward key senior employees over the long term, the Group long term incentive plans was extended to include 18 participants in 2019.
The Group engages proactively with, and believes it has, open and good relationships with its Regulators.
Environment & Supply Chain
We also understand that, as a company, we can help make a difference to the environment. The Group continues to invest in various recycling and energy savings initiatives such as LED lighting and with its foreign currency exchange service, providing customers their currency in a clear plastic bag which is the exact size to meet the airline requirements for carrying liquids on board in hand luggage.
The Group is constantly striving to reduce its carbon footprint through means of recycling as much as we can and using materials from sustainable sources where possible.
The Group has a limited number of key trade suppliers. Strong relationships have been built up over many years where the supplier and Ramsdens work together to improve the trade for both parties. Ramsdens reports on its supplier payment practices and believes in paying all suppliers as and when payments are due. The Group has sought assurance from its suppliers that they have no modern slavery practices within its supply chains. The Group's statement on its compliance with the Modern Slavery Act is available here.
Community & Customers
The Group prides itself on its high repeat customer rates and the low number of complaints it receives and is committed to offering the highest standards of customer service. We appreciate at times things go wrong and the Ramsdens philosophy is to use a root cause analysis approach to put things right as quickly as possible and learn from any mistakes.
The Group recognises that customer’s circumstances change and is aware of the needs of vulnerable customers. It has policies and procedures to help customers, including proactive forbearance programmes, and recognise signs of vulnerability including any customers who may be suffering from modern slavery.
The Group is committed to engaging with its local communities and has assisted in a variety of fundraising initiative's raising money for both national and local charities over the years. In 2019, this was primarily done through donations of jewellery for raffle prizes or auction lots, and a matched funding scheme for staff taking part in local charitable events.
Some of the charities supported include Great North Air Ambulance, Teenage Cancer Charity, Children in Need, St Luke’s Hospice, MIND, PGA Benevolent Fund, Breast Cancer Support, Teesside Hospice, Butterwick Hospice, Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Society and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation. Community projects include Castleton Village Hall, Yarm Community Project and Romanby School Fundraising.
One of the main fundraising initiatives involved four members of the head office team participating in the CEO Sleepout in Stockton. The team joined business leaders, business owners, CEOs and other senior executives who gave up home comforts and a warm bed for one night and slept outdoors, raising money and awareness to fight homelessness and poverty in the Teesside region.
This financial year the company has raised or helped charities raise over £7,000.