Engaging our staff and occupiers


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Our staff and occupiers are key stakeholders in our business, and their wellbeing and satisfaction is vital to the long-term success of our company. We aim to engage these groups through maintaining an ongoing dialogue to understand and act upon their changing needs.


In 2019, we introduced employee wellbeing groups which meet on a monthly basis to discuss and implement health and wellbeing ideas for the benefit of all staff. Amongst the initiatives introduced by the group were:

  • Hydration and Nutrition week, raising awareness of healthy eating and providing a healthy free lunch for staff to eat together
  • Provision of free fruit for all staff
  • A refurbishment of the Hawthorn Leisure offices following feedback from employees. The refurbishment included breakout areas and balconies to encourage better work life balance
  • Staff social events to encourage a healthy work life balance
  • Work station assessments and chair massages to highlight the importance of a healthy desk set-up and posture.
  • Free exercise classes, including online exercise classes during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Provision of free flu jabs to all staff

We have over 800 different occupiers in our retail portfolio and we are committed to continually improving the service we provide to these key stakeholders in the business.

As part of this, we held meetings with over 250 different occupiers during the year to gain a better understanding of their needs and future plans for their business and store portfolio. Many of these meetings take place at the head office of those retailers, which provides us with better insights into their operations and culture.

During the year, we continued to implement changes based on feedback from our occupier satisfaction survey. These changes are wide-ranging and cover
areas such as:

  • Facility and maintenance services
  • Centre manager communication and responsiveness
  • Cleanliness, safety and security
  • Factors impacting ease of doing business, staff retention and morale, and energy, water and waste management

The coronavirus pandemic meant our lines of communication with occupiers had to be more open than ever. At an early stage we devised a communication plan amongst our asset management team to understand the pandemic response plans of our retailers, and take steps to ensure our centres remained accessible and safe for customers. Our team also worked with occupiers facing any short-term cash flow issues to agree alternative payment terms.


Responses to our FY22 employee survey – independently analysed by Cushman & Wakefield – were overwhelmingly positive; with staff identifying that they feel valued by NewRiver and that our people, policies, culture, and values serve to support this feeling.

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The Academy of Real Assets has a mission to engage students from some of the most underserved UK state schools and introduce them to a career in the world of real estate by providing them with insight to, and contacts within, the industry.


Over two thirds of the respondents to our occupier survey rated their overall satisfaction as 8/10 or higher, and over a quarter awarded us a rating of 10/10. We learnt that more than 80% of our occupiers consider it important to improve their sustainability performance, and we are hopeful about the collaboration opportunities this presents.

We Achieved Recognition from the CDP for Managing Climate Issues

NewRiver seeks to be transparent in its approach to climate action, and participating in the CDP is an essential part of the way we achieve this. In the 2021 benchmarking process, we were awarded a score of ‘B’, taking us from the ‘awareness’ to the ‘management’ level; testament to the dedication of our business to driving alignment with a best practice approach to climate risk management.


We Received an EPRA sBPR Gold Award

Our ESG performance is reported in accordance with EPRA’s Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations, which support the transparency and comparability of disclosures on a full breadth of ESG metrics, from gender diversity to waste generation. NewRiver is one of just two companies to have improved performance from Bronze to Gold in 2021.


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