Wellbeing at Work: Henderson Group

Henderson Group is a local, family owned business comprising of four indigenous companies:


Henderson Wholesale Limited holds the franchise for SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO in Northern Ireland, distributing food and grocery-related products to the convenience retail sector. Henderson Retail Limited owns and operates 89 supermarket, neighbourhood, and forecourt stores. It’s NI’s largest independent fuel-site operator. Henderson Foodservice Limited is a market-leading foodservice business providing a range of grocery, chilled, and frozen food products to hotels, schools, and restaurants across all Ireland. Henderson Group Property Limited are specialists in the acquisition, development, and leasing of retail outlets, petrol forecourts, and neighbourhood retail schemes.

What Henderson Group did

Henderson Group identified the need to have a more structured approach that would focus efforts and enable more strategic thinking.

At the beginning of 2018 it embarked upon a project to relaunch its approach to health and wellbeing across the Group companies. After reviewing Group strategy, previous approaches, internal and external statistics, employee feedback, and best practice, the organisation decided to create its own internal brand for health and wellbeing – ‘well aware’ – and developed a logo that is visually closely linked to its CSR ‘Tomorrow Matters’ CSR logo. The purpose of the brand was to create a visual association between health and wellbeing activities, so employees make the connection and recognise the opportunities that are available to them.

The Henderson Group’s health and wellbeing vision is to build and maintain an environment and culture in which employee health and wellbeing is central.

Objectives of well aware are:

  • Create a work environment that promotes healthy behaviours and mindsets that positively contribute to employees’ overall wellness and positively influences business performance; through better engagement, attendance, recruitment and retention, improved productivity, and better brand image.
  • Deliver a coherent programme of activity throughout the year that increases employee knowledge and awareness of health and wellbeing issues and healthy lifestyle behaviours.
  • Encourage employees to actively participate in, and provide input to, health and wellbeing initiatives.

well aware focuses on the fundamentals of creating:

  • Better Physical and Psychological Health – Creating an environment that promotes healthy behaviours and mindset where employees are encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices that promote physical and psychological wellness
  • Better Work – Create a happy and engaging environment where ‘good work’ is promoted
  • Better Relationships – Create a supportive, friendly, and inclusive workplace through good communication and opportunities that build ‘social capital’ at work and at home
  • Better Specialist Support – Provide early interventions and active absence management that support rehabilitation and recovery

Activities in 2018 were centred around each of these areas, creating a holistic approach to health and wellbeing in work that could also have positive benefits at home and within the communities where Henderson Group operate.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • 8% decline in Group absence rates from January 2018 to December 2018
  • 68% reduction in voluntary turnover in Retail, 6.39% in Property and 0.97% in Wholesale
  • Successfully recruited 1,000 new people into the business
  • Increased Group sales of 8.6%
  • Increased employee engagement with the Foodservice division having a response rate of 93% and overall satisfaction of 81%
  • EAP provision for employees, offering 24/7 support, and occupational health service benefits reducing the need for employees to attend off-site appointments
  • Increased employee job satisfaction as the company invests time and money to workplace wellbeing, beyond compliance
  • Employees benefit from better work-life balance
  • Installed 300 defibrillators in communities across NI

For more information, please email Rachael.gill@henderson-group.com