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Dr. Martens: Rebel soles

Published by: LifeWorks,

Well-being that keeps workers walking on air

Dr. Martens iconic footwear has been a staple of British culture for almost 60 years. From the skinheads of the 1960s to the punks of the 80s, the grunge generation and beyond. The classic boot is listed alongside the Jaguar E-Type, Concorde and the London Tube Map as a British design icon that is appreciated worldwide.

Well known for a rebellious attitude, when it came to employee well-being, the company was looking to support its people with a platform that encouraged this culture and allowed creative expression to thrive.

“A couple of years ago, we spent some time looking at what was great about Dr Martens, and we realised there were some fundamentals that you get with any organisation – that’s being professional, being passionate, and being a team player,” said Helen Verwoert, Global HR Director for Dr. Martens.

“But there was something different about Dr. Martens that we wanted to make sure people who joined the business, and were in the business, realized. It’s what sets us apart, and that’s being resilient, being fearless, and making sure you’re creative. And we don’t mind talking about the fact that we love a bit of rebellious self-expression.”

It was in 2015, when Helen Verwoert said the company was growing rapidly and becoming a global business. “Although we were still quite small, we were spread across nine or ten offices and we didn’t really have a good way of communicating. Some of our people didn’t have email, and we were starting to lose our connectivity. We needed to do something differently.”

Rolling out LifeWorks has enabled Dr. Martens to keep everyone connected globally. Teams have reported increased inspiration, motivation, mindfulness and validation through recognition since using the total well-being platform.

“Over the last two years, remaining connected when you’re growing at the pace that we’re growing, (adding nearly 20 stores per year across regions that we’ve never been in before), we’ve been able to keep that connectivity,” said Helen Verwoert. “I think we’ve also been able to keep an element of fun through LifeWorks as well. But the Employee Assistance Program, the Perks, and the Recognition – I don’t think they’re tools that we would’ve been able to have quite so much impact on so quickly had we not partnered with LifeWorks,” she said.

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