At the John Lewis Partnership we are proud to be ‘Working in Partnership for a happier world' by improving creating a more sustainable future for generations to come. By putting the voice of workers at the centre of our programmes, we aim to support the creation of better jobs for the people who make, pick and pack our products or provide our services through improving working conditions and job satisfaction. As co-owned business we are driven by our principles of democracy and we want to encourage and enable our suppliers to adopt similar principles within their own organisations.
We initiated our Better Jobs Survey in 2019 with UK own-brand suppliers, against a backdrop of increasing skills shortages within the manufacturing sector and enhanced legislation regarding employment and modern slavery.
The Survey was an opportunity to experiment and collaborate with suppliers in a new way in order to drive sustainable and long lasting change. Rather than carry out a social audit, suppliers completed a management questionnaire and invited their workforce to complete a worker survey, based on a framework developed through a consultative process with experts from The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Institute of Employment Studies, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
The Better Jobs Framework looks at seven areas of employment and the experience of being at work:
Voice - We want the people who make our products and provide our services to be empowered to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns.
Growth - We want the people who make our products and provide our services to have the opportunity to progress.
Reward - We want people who make our products and provide our services to be appropriately rewarded through pay, benefits and recognition.
Security - We want the people who make our products and provide our services to have security within their role.
Job design - We want the people who make our products and provide our services to feel a sense of autonomy within their role.
Respect - We want the people who make our products and provide our services to feel respected by others.
Health and wellbeing - We want the people who make our products and provide our services to feel well and safe.
Since 2019, we have expanded the Survey to include supplier sites from China in 2020 and India and South Africa in 2022.
Through an online portal, our suppliers who have completed the Survey can see how their results compare to their peers and have access to guidance documents and dedicated resources to support any action plans they choose to develop. At a broader level, insights from the Survey are used to develop programmes which can support our suppliers to improve the livelihoods of their workforce. For example, in China where our 2021-2022 survey results indicated that workers were struggling to cope with the pressures of work and home life, we set out to support the workforce to increase their resilience levels. Successes in this programme have included the implementation of family friendly policies and subsidies to support workers.
For more information about work we are doing to create better jobs in our supply chains see our Human Rights Report and Modern Slavery Statement.