Everton Football Club has been awarded a prestigious three-star accreditation from workplace and employee engagement specialist Best Companies, rating the Club’s employee engagement as ‘world-class’.
The three-star accreditation is the highest mark awarded by Best Companies and demonstrates the progress made by the Club, having achieved its first star in 2019 and two stars in 2020.
The rating is based on employee participation in the Best Companies survey, which is taken annually by staff at businesses and organisations across the UK. Employees across the whole Everton Family - the Club, Everton Women, Everton in the Community and Everton Free School - took part in the survey.
The top-level accreditation also comes as Everton implements its wider long-term employee engagement strategy as part of its people-led response to COVID-19.
The Club’s People, Culture, and Workplace Wellbeing team have engaged with employees across the Everton Family to design and create wellbeing resources and initiatives to assist colleagues through the pandemic and beyond.
Kim Healey, Director of People, Culture and Workplace Wellbeing, said: “We are the People’s Club, and I am proud that our people-centred approach is reflected in both our Best Companies accreditation and our recent Premier League Fan Survey results. Our people are central to driving positive change across our business, and we would not be where we are without their input and passion. We are delighted to still receive these excellent results at what is such a challenging time for everyone.
“Empowering our people to share their ideas and feedback – including what we could do better - is vital in helping us move forward as both a business and as a top-choice employer. It is an exciting time to work at Everton as we look to the future, with a new waterfront stadium and the Goodison Legacy project on the horizon. We want all of our people to be proud to be part of the Everton Family.”
To support Everton’s diverse staff base as they worked from home during lockdown, the Everton Family launched Everton Connect, giving staff opportunities to socialise and interact with one another alongside their working day. Activities have included virtual lunchrooms, yoga, exercise sessions led by Everton in the Community coaches, home-schooling advice from the Club charity’s education specialists, quizzes, radio-style shows and podcasts – and even healthy cookery classes from Everton’s Executive Performance First-Team Head Chef Thomas Kenton.
Staff networks – the Mental Health Network, Women’s Network, LGBT+ Network, Disability Network and Race Equality Network – have developed significantly during lockdown and have contributed to the design of Everton Connect content and other key awareness-raising events.
Everton also accelerated plans to train and introduce staff Mental Health Ambassadors, and has increased communication around free staff counselling, wellbeing and health benefits.
Flexibility around working patterns has been embraced, and the focus of mid-season and end of season reviews has shifted, so that while performance still features, the emphasis is on wellbeing.
Using feedback, the Club also launched 'Together Everton' pledges to further develop a culture that encourages employees to embrace and maintain a collective focus on health and wellbeing.
Supporting activity around the pledges has included the introduction of Wellbeing Champions for every area of the business, who work with the People Culture and Workplace Wellbeing team to develop Club-wide wellbeing strategy and action plans. The Wellbeing Champions have introduced a virtual John O’ Groats to Lands’ End activity challenge and have helped raise awareness of staff wellbeing benefits.
The world-class employee engagement rating follows on from the Club’s outstanding Premier League Fan Survey results, which saw Evertonians give the Club its highest scores in the survey’s 25-year history.
Evertonians gave the Club unprecedented backing in all five areas evaluated by the survey - sentiment, custodianship, communication, community and COVID-19 response – with 94 per cent of fans impressed by the Club's conduct in response to the pandemic, a 92 per cent overall positive sentiment towards the Club and 93 per cent positive sentiment to fan engagement.
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