John Lewis – “A better place to work”
The great thing about retail is that we never stand still, so no two days are the same, especially in a co-owned business such as John Lewis. Recently I have been in India supporting the business expansion plans, I have also been driven at speed by a world champion Horse Carriage Driver (as part of our work to combine sport and leadership development), and then I have celebrated our 18% profit sharing bonus announcement with my team. So you can see why I really enjoy my work!
Retail provides a wealth of choices if you have ambition and I worked across a number of roles/shops before becoming Personnel Director in 2008. The common thread in John Lewis is a passion to make a difference, to the business and those working in it. I take great satisfaction from leading the function that is responsible for ensuring we have a Partner (employee) environment which sets us apart from other organisations. This is based on the principles of our founder Spedan Lewis, who believed in ensuring the happiness of Partners, which then drives a more successful business model.
My Personnel Team are key to this success, through the learning and development opportunities we provide, the input we give to business planning and through enabling our expansion plans by opening new branches. The accolades John Lewis has won over the past year for outstanding Customer Service reflect the personnel strategy to develop and support Partners to be the best they can be. However, we will not be resting on our laurels as we constantly seek to improve our business whilst still ensuring John Lewis is a different, and better place to work.
Laura Whyte (nee Brown)