Most Partners who increase their pay do so by developing their skills within their current job – 'learning agility' is the key.

We will...

Waitrose Partner serving customer

Be innovative with learning opportunities and experiences

Aim to run experiments so Partners can experience new and different things plus a number of 'life stage experiments' to support Partners with key transition points e.g. becoming a working parent.

Take every opportunity to reinforce and develop our 'learning agility'

Find meaningful ways to assess learning agility at selection stage and, for current Partners, design learning programmes to grow it. With 70% of learning through new and stretching experiences (not courses), support line managers in creation of everyday experiences that stretch Partners.

Partner smiling in lorry

Make better use of training and development investment and time

Partners want to develop their skills but the biggest barrier to this is time. Aim to significantly reduce the volume of mandatory training and be more efficient with available funds so more can be diverted to support new skills and career development for existing Partners.

Provide the right tools and equipment to help Partners make the most of the career opportunities of the Partnership

It is difficult to navigate around today’s bigger Partnership, so clear information will grow Partners’ knowledge; defined entry-level positions will make career jumps into different areas easier; self-help tools and career coaches will help Partners make own choices. Active support for moves across Divisions.

Invest wisely in future competitive capabilities

New capabilities can provide more opportunities for Partners to progress. Being clear what we need as a business (together with proactive planning and investment) will ensure, where appropriate, that we build the capabilities that differentiate us instead of recruiting externally.

Progress so far

Most Partners increase their pay by developing skills and progressing within their current job. As a business, we are focussing more than ever on progression through learning. Supporting Partners to develop can provide opportunities such as escaping low pay, making meaningful choices about their lives and careers, maintaining their employability (within the Partnership or beyond), and enhancing their potential.

To improve the Partner experience, we are in the process of refining our mandatory training offer, and aim to reduce the time taken to do this by 50%.

Our Partner Development Website

Two years after its launch, our Partner Development website continues to offer a range of training for Partners and managers. New offers in 2015 include Divisional-specific learning such as the 'Stock Management Toolkit' for Waitrose, and 'Love to Sell' for John Lewis Partners. We have also added induction training, and a collection of learning resources for Partners looking to apply for new roles.

Our key strategic focus for 2015 has been introducing the concept of Learning Agility to the Partnership. An agile learner is well equipped to learn from their experiences and apply this knowledge quickly and flexibly. With a large proportion of our Partners having over five years' service, the knowledge and experience our Partners possess is invaluable. Learning helps people find personal meaning and satisfaction in their work and this in turn can enhance personal happiness. In this way, learning agility aligns to Principle 1 and could potentially improve job satisfaction within the Partnership.

Enhancing the Career Journey

Vertical career ladders are becoming less relevant as we increasingly operate in different ways, and as Partners want more choice and flexibility. In the Partnership, Partners can progress within their role, with additions to their role, within function, across functions and to more complex or higher level roles. Progression can also be achieved through different experiences. We are developing guidance to help line managers and Partners understand how to build breadth and depth into their career journeys and progress within the Partnership.