Press Centre

Asda's average length of service over five years for first time

Thursday, 13th August 2009

  • 10% increase in number of colleagues with at least five years’ service since August 2008

  • More than 67,000 colleagues have now worked at Asda for at least five years

  • Retention rates highest on record

  • Colleague satisfaction reaches all-time high

  • 23 shop floor colleagues promoted to management roles every month

  • Longest-serving colleague has 43 years of service under his belt

On the day Walmart releases its latest financial results, Asda announced that more than 67,000 of its colleagues have now clocked up at least five years service for the supermarket, an increase of 10% on last year.

It means Asda’s 165,000-strong workforce is now one of the most experienced in the UK, with average length of service over five years for the first time.

Later this morning this will form part of the Asda performance briefing delivered by Asda Chief Financial Officer Judith McKenna.

Asda has consistently been recognised as one of Britain’s best employers, thanks to industry-leading flexible working schemes and colleague benefits, including a 10% Asda discount, money off vouchers for days out with the kids, discounted health care and free legal advice, all of which have helped towards the increase in retention.

Since 2002 Asda’s retention of people has steadily improved, with less than 20% of its workforce leaving the company each year. Research from the CIPD highlights that Asda’s track record stands out compared to other industries.

Turnover in the hotel and leisure industry sits at 34% and the food production industry is at 26.8%.

Since January Asda has paid out more than £65 million to its colleagues through the colleague bonus scheme and share-save plans. Earlier this week the retailer announced that nearly 13,000 colleagues would share a pot of £1.6m in free shares through the Asda colleague share ownership plan.

Caroline Massingham, People Director at Asda, commented: "Thanks to our unique culture, the number of colleagues hitting the five-year service mark this quarter has increased significantly compared to this time last year – further proof that Asda is a great place to work and we put colleagues at the heart of our business.

“The excellent range of benefits we offer and our innovative approach to flexible working means more and more people are opting for a long-term career with Asda.”

Earlier this year Asda announced it would create 7,000 new jobs and made a further commitment to recruit 3,000 colleagues for existing vacancies through local employment partnerships and its work with Remploy. It is on target to deliver both.

On average 23 shop floor colleagues are promoted to management roles within our stores, highlighting Asda’s commitment to train and support colleagues to progress a career within retail.

Asda’s longest-serving colleague is Paul Higgins from Blackpool store who has worked for the retailer for 43 years and is one of 2,434 colleagues who have over 25 years of service.

Editors’ notes:

Figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development highlight that retail is no longer a ‘dead-end’ career as retention rates for the sector as a whole outstrip other industries renowned by many for job security and length of service.

Labour turnover for the retail sector rests at 17%, down from a huge 34% in 2008.  These figures stand out compared to other industry sectors, with turnover in the hotel and leisure industry at 34%; IT services at 21% and food and drink production at 26.8%. Turnover in call centres is at 34% and in the communications sector 22%.

Posted in Press Centre on 13 August 2009