John Lewis rolls out a brand new progressive engagement programme

John Lewis & Partners introduces a new progressive engagement program

John Lewis & Partners is running the Better Jobs program to all UK suppliers to create more rewarding jobs for the people who make its products

John Lewis & Partners has announced that after a successful test, a new progressive supplier loyalty program called Better Jobs will be launched for all 120 UK manufacturing suppliers. The purpose of the Better Jobs program, which is free to suppliers and replaces traditional ethical audits, is to create more rewarding and enriching jobs for the people who make John Lewis private label products.

The ethos of the program is based on a key principle on which the partnership was founded: "The purpose of the company is the happiness of all partners through their rewarding and satisfactory employment in a successful company".

John Lewis developed the new approach in collaboration with a group of suppliers as well as an advisory group made up of representatives from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Institute of Employment Studies and the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development.

The program consists of two parts: a framework to help suppliers reflect on the way they support, engage and reward their employees, and an employee survey.

The framework has seven themes: Expression, Progress, Reward, Safety, Work Design, Respect, and Health and Wellbeing. The anonymous employee survey consists of questions from an annual survey that the partnership asks its own partners (employees) as well as some questions from the CIPD survey "World of Work" and covers all seven general topics of Better Jobs.

Following the survey, an action plan will be created with the assistance of relevant John Lewis experts, and managers will be given access to a custom portal with resources to help them execute their plan.

Suppliers invited to participate have long-standing relationships with retailers and have already performed forensic audits to confirm their compliance with employment and human rights and health and safety laws.

This year, John Lewis will also test the program with 15 suppliers in China using a mobile app to communicate directly with the suppliers' employees.

Commenting on the program, Nadia Youds, Partner and Social Impact Manager, said: “The Better Workplace Program was established after talking to suppliers about how the partnership can support them in the challenges they face, such as: B. in recruiting skilled workers, securing the future of your industry and innovation.

“We wanted to help them not only comply with the law through“ tick box ”checks, which the suppliers found restrictive. and to deepen our relationship with our suppliers and share some of our resources with them. That's why we created the Better Jobs program, which evaluates continuous improvements that have a positive impact on the work experience of your employees. "

The retailer today released a report on the results of the first year of the program, which included 23 UK suppliers and 800 of their employees. The most important results of the first year are: Over 70% of the employees felt they could express their opinion; The majority believe that their employer supports their wellbeing. Almost 90% said they had an influence on the way they work. Over 80% of suppliers have development plans for their employees, but these need to be offered to a wider and more diverse range of white-collar workers.

Rachel Cox, HR Manager at Virginia Hayward, who cares for John Lewis with disabilities, commented on her experience with the Better Jobs Program. “We really enjoyed being part of the Better Jobs program. The survey allows us to get real insight into the views of our employees. We used the data to structure our learning and development plans and management coaching programs.

“During the first year, wellbeing was highlighted as an area we could improve. This led us to work with Mind to draft a wellness policy, convene a committee, train mental health first responders, and start a 12 month program of wellness initiatives. Now in its sophomore year, this is a program that is embedded in our normal business life. "

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