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Tesco

 

As a leading retailer of consumer goods, from food to fashion, we serve millions of customers every week, in our stores and online. Serving customers a little better every day is at the heart of everything we do.

Share our passion for the people, products and places that make us great, and we can offer opportunities to support and develop your skills. From a range of competitive benefits to policies that aim to give you a healthy work/life balance, we do everything we can to help you have a successful career at Tesco.

The great news is, we're a big business with diverse shift patterns and many business areas which means that we can find something that works for you. Opportunities don’t need to be structured – part-time, job-shares, there’s no limit. It really can give you the best of both worlds – a career and family life. 

Everyone’s Welcome

At Tesco, inclusion means that Everyone’s Welcome.  Everyone is treated fairly and with respect; by valuing individuality and uniqueness we create a sense of belonging.

Diversity and inclusion has always been at the heart of Tesco.  It is embedded in our values: we treat people how they want to be treated.  We always want our colleagues to feel they can be themselves at work and we are committed to helping them be at their best.

Across the Tesco group we are building an inclusive workplace, a place to actively celebrate the cultures, personalities and preferences of our colleagues – who in turn help to build the success of our business and reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.

Networks

The people we meet each day make our lives interesting, whether we’re at work or at home. We know how important it is to network, so that’s why colleagues in Tesco come together to create networks where people can chat and find out how others manage their careers, meet people in different areas of the business or even just share ideas. Some of our key networks include:

LGBTQ+: The LGBTQ+ Network is one of the largest LGBTQ colleague networks in the UK with over 2000 members across the Tesco Group. We want to attract, support and develop our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex colleagues so that they feel confident to be themselves at work. LGBTQ+ at Tesco supports colleagues so that they feel confident to be themselves at work – when you are your ‘best self’ at work, you perform at your greatest.

BAME: The Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) network is run by colleagues, for colleagues. It aims to give ethnically diverse colleagues an opportunity to network, share experiences and develop their careers at Tesco. This collaboration gives the network the opportunity to become even more inclusive by recognising all colleagues from ethnic backgrounds. Along with the communities we serve, our workplace is becoming more diverse. So, by sharing our cultural differences and what matters to us, we begin not only to respect each other, but we create an inclusive environment for all. When people feel included, they are more likely to be themselves. The BAME colleague network aims to make a difference by raising awareness of diversity, culture and inclusion within Tesco. We want to support and encourage BAME colleagues to develop their careers with Tesco and ensure Black Asian Minority Ethnics in the wider community know that Tesco is a great place to work. Our objectives and focus are to develop a National Network where all minorities are welcome, creating a programme that colleagues from an ethnic background feel a part of and benefit from. The Network helps Tesco to serve customers from all background and communities a little better everyday

Women at Tesco: The Women at Tesco network provides advice and inspiration to drive careers forward, develop a network and articulate how we add value to the business.

Armed Forces at Tesco: As a business, we’ve had a long-standing association with the Armed Forces ever since our founder, Jack Cohen started Tesco back in 1919 after leaving the Royal Flying Corps at the end of the First World War. Almost one per cent of all veterans leaving the Army join Tesco, and as the UK’s biggest private sector employer, we want to do everything we can to support our Armed Forces colleagues so that our business continues to be a place where everybody’s welcome and anyone can get on. We know moving into a civilian career can be as challenging as it is an opportunity, and we support ex-military personnel, providing many ways to aid their transition.

We also have The Family Network which is a community of colleagues created to support each other before, during or on return from maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. It’s a friendly environment to share experiences and learning, offer advice, discuss any challenges and help each other take advantage of all the colleague benefits. It also helps colleagues stay connected during the time they’re away from the office, and helps them transition back to work.

Many older people wish to remain in work or semi-retire and our customers really value older people's experience. Recently we have formed The Retired Colleague Community brought together by Alumni and Retired Staff Associations (RSA) which enables colleagues to keep in touch with Tesco during their retirement.

Disability Network

Disability at Tesco aims to provide colleagues with the platform and a voice to make real change and show that everyone is welcome at Tesco.

Disability at Tesco was founded to help inspire and enable all colleagues with disabilities in their lives. The network aims to provide colleagues with the platform and a voice to make real change and show that everyone is welcome at Tesco. The focus is not only on supporting colleagues and developing talent, but also supporting the business to be a proud ‘disability confident’ employer.

Our Vision

• Every decision we make at Tesco should consider those with a disability - whether a colleague or customer

Our Objectives

• Colleagues: at each stage of the colleague lifecycle there should be clear support for colleagues with a disability 
• Customer: continue the changes to meet the needs of customers with a disability

How we support our colleagues and customers with hidden disabilities

As one of the UK’s largest retailers we’re committed to supporting all our customers, including around 12 million people in the UK currently living with a disability – some visible, and some hidden.

To help us make each shopping trip a little easier,  the Sunflower Lanyard initiative has been rolled out to all of our UK stores – helping customers with hidden disabilities to signal that they may need some assistance, and providing colleagues with extra confidence in offering help.

We’ve signed up to the Valuable 500 commitment, a global movement helping to put disability inclusion onto the business leadership agenda. It is really important that everyone feels welcome at Tesco, whether they are shopping or working with us. It is something that has been on our business agenda for some time now and as part of the Valuable 500, we will be sharing our commitment to continue making Tesco a more accessible place for everyone.

As part of this commitment we have installed our 100th Changing Places facility to help those with complex disabilities use toilets safely and comfortably. The toilets cover a larger area and offer specialist equipment such as hoists, privacy screens and height adjustable adult-sized changing benches.

Lisa's story

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I have been with the company since 2018 and I have bipolar disorder.

I am a trained psychologist but I was unable to continue with this career path as I was becoming unwell so frequently.  Working at Tesco brings me a certain comfort and as such I haven’t had any of the periods of extended sickness that I used to struggle with. The support I receive working here is fantastic, not to mention my line manager who is brilliant.

I have previously spent long periods of time in and out of hospital with my condition which has made holding down a job particularly difficult. Tesco have given me the support and confidence I need to enable me to work in a team who understand and support me through the good times as well as the bad.

My manager is quick to realise when I need that support and is great at offering it when needed. There are times when even just a 10 minute chat away from the shop floor has alleviated my concerns and anxiety if I am having a tricky day.

I love to be able to help others with similar conditions and raise awareness with my colleagues so they also know how they can help someone going through anything similar. In the past, I have stood at the front of the store when we have been running mental health awareness campaigns and spoken to our customers.

Kay Roberts (Lisa’s Manager): Lisa is fantastic! She has been an amazing addition to my store and she is always keen to tell her story and engage others around the struggles of mental health. Because I am aware of Lisa’s disability, it allows me to support her when needed.

 

Grace's Story

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Tesco Team Member Grace Communicating via Sign Language

When wearing masks became the norm, Grace, who has hearing loss, felt isolated. She tells us how she adapted to a new way of communicating.

Imagine you’re under water as someone is talking. That’s what it’s like for me without hearing aids,” says Customer Assistant Grace Davies-Friend. The 20-year-old lost her hearing as a child, after a round of chemotherapy resulted in the loss of the tiny hairs in the inner ear, which detect vibrations from sound waves and send signals to the brain. “I’ve worn hearing aids all my life, but they’re not perfect,” Grace says. “Rather than refine sounds to make them clearer, they just amplify the sounds you can hear.”

Grace is hugely reliant on lip-reading and using vibrations from voices to listen. So, when face masks were introduced at the beginning of the pandemic, she was left feeling completely cut off from the world.

“When I first started at Shrewsbury Extra, it was the first time I realised just how loud a supermarket is. The noise of the fan, freezers, music, checkouts and people chatting was really overwhelming, but I adapted. When the masks were introduced, I realised I’d drowned out the noise to focus on lips and vibrations to listen. All of a sudden, all this noise came screaming back.

“It was totally overwhelming and exhausting. There were times I would go and sit in the toilets so I could turn off my hearing aids for a moment of silence. The biggest struggle was how disorientating it was. Suddenly all these loud, distorted noises were coming at me from all angles and I had no way of knowing what people were saying to me. I found it really hard to stay grounded, do my job, communicate and give a decent level of customer service while feeling so isolated.”

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Grace communicates with her Butcher colleague via Sign Language

I’m not alone

When laws to make masks mandatory in public places were introduced, Grace took to social media to express her struggles.

“The worst part of it was that the laws were brought in overnight and I didn’t feel I had time to prepare. I shared my experiences on social media but I didn’t expect so many people to respond. I had so many messages from people who also wear hearing aids and are struggling on the shop floor too – even some from colleagues I didn’t even know wore them! I genuinely believed I was the only person who is hard of hearing at work, so to find out there are others going through the exact same thing made me realise that I’m not alone.”

Adapting together

After learning she was not alone, Grace felt motivated to help her colleagues communicate using British Sign Language (BSL). “I made a quick video on my phone demonstrating how to sign some basic phrases we use in-store and shared it on Facebook. I was both delighted and shocked at how willing my colleagues were to learn them and now we regularly sign when working on checkouts.”

Strong support system

“Had I not had the support system around me this past year, I really think I would have quit. My colleagues have been so supportive and the effort they’ve made to learn to sign to help me means the world.”

Grace runs her own blog, ‘Hearing Loss – Deaf Gain’, to increase awareness and is studying BSL at college, so she can help others with hearing loss.

Grace’s Advice

Take note of Grace’s practical tips for clear communication:

  • “If I could give one piece of advice to colleagues who are hard of hearing, it’s to let others know about it. People are so much more understanding and willing to help than I ever thought”
  • “If someone is struggling to hear what you’re saying, try using different words to describe it. It could be that someone has difficulty hearing certain sounds”
  • “Be patient and remember it’s OK if you have to repeat yourself. One thing that infuriates me the most is when I ask someone to repeat themselves and they say: ‘It doesn’t matter.’ It makes me feel like I’m not worth their time, which leads to feelings of isolation”
  • “Speak clearly and avoid abbreviations or contractions such as ‘gonna’”
  • “Don’t shout or be condescending – we’re deaf, not stupid!”