John Lewis’ innovative Better Jobs programme aims to improve worker conditions and job satisfaction for the people who make our products. As a co-owned business we are driven by our values and belief in doing the right thing; the objective of Better Jobs is to encourage and support our suppliers to do the same within their own organisations.
Standard factory auditing processes only give a snapshot of working conditions at a particular moment in time. Although auditing is an effective tool, we wanted to drive more meaningful and sustainable positive behaviour change within our own-brand supply base so, in 2019, John Lewis launched the Better Jobs programme with UK suppliers.
The programme framework was developed in collaboration with experts from the John Lewis Partnership and an advisory group consisting of representatives from The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Institute of Employment Studies, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Through an online portal, our suppliers can access guidance and dedicated resources on the framework, which covers seven areas:
- Voice - We want the people who make our products to be empowered to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns.
- Growth - We want the people who make our products to have the opportunity to progress.
- Reward - We want people who make our products to be appropriately rewarded through pay, benefits and recognition.
- Security - We want the people who make our products to have security within their role.
- Job design - We want the people who make our products to feel a sense of autonomy within their role.
- Respect - We want the people who make our products to feel respected by others.
- Health and wellbeing - We want the people who make our products to feel well and safe.
Employees are surveyed on their day-to-day experience of the workplace, and their opinion of what makes a good job. We use these responses in our work with suppliers to determine what improvements employers should prioritise, and we help them to track their progress year-on-year.
49 suppliers are using the Better Jobs survey, and over 2,600 employee responses have been collected. In 2020 the programme was piloted with 15 suppliers in our Chinese supply base, the results of which are being analysed.