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Aldi rolls out allyship training for all UK managers

Aldi has pledged to roll out allyship training for UK management staff in the next phase of its diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy.

Providing training for more than 800 managers, the supermarket chain said it hoped to empower and encourage managers to support, collaborate with and advocate for colleagues from minority groups.

The training will be focussed on raising awareness of allyship and its benefits, how to be an ally and how to productively challenge others.

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Richard Shuttleworth, D&I director at Aldi UK, said: “We’re always looking for ways to better support our colleagues, and providing training for our managers is a significant step we can take to assist them and their teams in becoming allies.”

Toby Mildon, a specialist D&I consultant, said it was great to see Aldi taking proactive steps to encourage allyship in its workforce.

He told HR magazine: “This initiative demonstrates a sincere commitment to cultivating a supportive, collaborative, and empowering environment for employees from underrepresented backgrounds. 

“Moreover, it is crucial for Aldi's managers and colleagues to extend this allyship to customer interactions, ensuring that any disrespectful or discriminatory remarks from customers on the shopfloor and suppliers visiting warehouses are swiftly addressed.”

While training is an effective tool for raising awareness of allyship, Mildon added employees need to carry the training on to their daily lives to cement the behaviour in their habits.

“To truly embody the spirit of allyship employees must consistently practise conscious inclusivity in their day-to-day tasks and interactions," he said. 

Aldi’s new training follows the launch of its allyship guide earlier in 2023. The supermarket has also partnered with D&I consultancy Diversifying Group to deliver inclusivity webinars to its employees over the past year, with more upcoming in 2023.

Organisations that focus on inclusivity can see it benefit employee wellbeing, according to Alicia Nagar, head of people, wellbeing and equity at Mental Health First Aid England.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “We know teams that feel safe and connected work better together. People are at their most effective and creative when everybody feels psychologically safe

“Managers play a vital role in creating working environments that allow people to be authentic and share their whole self.”