Patrick Winters, Programme Manager, Partner Strategy

Working for us

At the John Lewis Partnership, employees are Partners, which means we are all owners of the business and share in its success. Our founder, John Spedan Lewis, had an ambitious vision of employee co-ownership with the happiness of Partners as the ultimate purpose, and his vision lives on in the modern Partnership of today.

What does working in a Partnership mean?

Being a Partnership is about much more than sharing the profits: it defines our approach to what we do. With ownership comes responsibility, and the knowledge that our success depends entirely on providing the best quality products and services to our customers so that they come back to us again and again. Our democratic network of elected councils, committees and forums gives Partners a real say in our decision-making processes, and allows us to challenge management on performance and have a real say in how the business is run. This sense of collective responsibility extends to everyone we deal with, from customers and suppliers to the communities we're part of.

Our Partner Plan, built around four key themes, ensures that the way we work and the service we provide are right for our growing business.

Performance and reward: Every Partner shares in the benefits of a co-owned business. Partners show responsibility for the Partnership's ongoing success by giving us their very best performance – from adaptive, innovative thinking and excellent customer service to a significant contribution to continuous improvement. We focus on:

  • Performance and progression - we enable Partners to progress their pay by growing their performance and productivity. We improve line managers capability to support  this.
  • Total reward - We offer a wide-ranging reward package including pay, Partner discounts, subsidised dining and leisure facilities and a non-contributory final salary DB scheme.

Learning and progression: As the employment landscape changes and work practices shift, we need to develop the capabilities required to keep our competitive edge. By providing opportunities, we're encouraging Partners to learn new skills – whatever stage they're at in their working lives. We focus on:

  • Competitive capabilities - We invest in the skills and knowledge we need for business success (buy/ borrow/ build).
  • Lifelong learning - We develop Partners' and managers learning agility and provide opportunities to progress.
  • Skills and knowledge - We provide relevant, accessible and stimulating learning resources to help Partners and line managers do their jobs well.

Inclusive ownership: We strive to be a welcoming and diverse business that recognises and values difference. This goes to the heart of our ultimate goal of being a successful co-owned enterprise that benefits all of our Partners. We focus on:

  • Inclusion - We actively foster and lead a culture of inclusion.
  • Its Your Business - We celebrate and inspire ownership and commit to it every day.
  • Community - Through Partners involvement in community, we deliver real social impact alongside business benefit.
  • Wellbeing - We will actively promote Partner wellbeing.

Working better: In order to adapt to a fast-paced business environment with ongoing technological change, Partners are increasingly working together across both roles and divisions. We focus on:

  • Efficient, valued Partnership services - We will provide efficient Partner services over the life of the plan. We will provide valued and enabling Partner services over the life of the plan.
  • Flexibility and agility - We support the creation of a flexible and agile organisation and Partner population with the ability to change well.
  • Clear and effective policies - We have straightforward policies, effectively implemented.

Employee ownership

The John Lewis Partnership is a member of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), a business association for companies who are substantially or wholly owned by the people who work for them. For more information visit the Employee Ownership Association website (

  • Pay and benefits We aim to be market leading, and have always believed there's more to a job than just work and pay.
  • Training and development We want every Partner at every level of the business to be able to fulfil their potential.