Central Co-op is thrilled to announce it took home the title in the “Best Benefits to Support Work-Life Balance” category at the prestigious Employee Benefits Awards, for its dedication to creating a supportive and flexible working environment for all colleagues.

The Employee Benefits Awards celebrates the exceptional achievements within the HR, reward and benefits community, recognising innovative strategies that significantly impact organisations and their colleagues.

As a Society, Central Co-op puts a huge emphasis on the well-being and work-life balance of its colleagues. This recognition reflects a commitment to flexible working options through its innovative Workflex and hybrid working strategies. These initiatives are designed to empower colleagues to thrive both professionally and personally.

Central Co-op’s award-winning strategies include:

  • Hybrid working options: Allowing colleagues the flexibility to work both remotely and in-office, fostering a balanced and adaptable work environment
  • Flexible shift requests: Accommodating diverse lifestyles and preferences by enabling colleagues to tailor their work schedules
  • Compressed work week options: Providing the opportunity for colleagues to complete their work week in fewer days, promoting better work-life integration

The Society’s focus on flexible working was shaped by listening to colleagues’ feedback and conducting thorough research, collaboration and trial runs. The positive feedback from these trials has been overwhelming, with participants reporting improved stress levels, enhanced overall well-being and better work-life balance.

Recognising the evolving needs of its colleagues, last year Central Co-op launched a flexible working trial called Workflex. This initiative allows colleagues to choose between a four-day week, a nine-day fortnight, or a combination of both, promoting a better work-life balance and prioritising employee well-being. After the success of the trial, the Society will be rolling out Workflex to all colleagues this year.

Furthermore, this summer, Central Co-op will be launching its new Financial Wellbeing support through the introduction of Wagestream. Offering colleagues the flexibility to choose how and when they get paid, helping them to save and offering dedicated financial coaching and support. This demonstrates Central Co-op’s ongoing commitment to innovation and understanding how the Society can best support its colleagues’ financial well-being.

Sarah Dickins, Chief Member, Customer and People Officer at Central Co-op, comments: “Central Co-op’s purpose is to create a sustainable Society for all. Our colleagues are our difference makers and we’re continuously listening to help us invest in the areas that matter and can make a difference to them. We’re always looking to enhance our colleague experience across career development, benefits, wellbeing and flexibility too.

“Receiving this award is not just an achievement for Central Co-op; it is a validation of our core values and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team. It reinforces our commitment to fostering a positive and respectful working environment. We’d like to say a big thank you to the judges for this award, and a huge congratulations to the Central Co-op team.”

Moving forward, Central Co-op remains dedicated to learning, adapting and building on its successes. The Society is committed to continually improving its policies to support the well-being and productivity of its colleagues, ensuring they feel valued and supported in their work and personal lives.

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