For the John Lewis Partnership, employee benefits are one of a number of elements that have helped to establish its reputation as a great place to work. The organisation encompasses John Lewis and Waitrose, and all of its 90,000 members of staff are partners in the business.
Rachael Abbott, benefits development manager at the John Lewis Partnership, says: “Benefits are part of the whole, it’s also about our history, philosophy and culture.”
The retailer continually works to ensure that its benefits proposition is relevant to its workforce, which includes a range of roles, locations and working environments. “It’s trying to make sure the proposition has the right breadth and depth to be relevant to the vast majority of partners,” says Abbott.
The organisation has introduced new benefits over the last year to support the everyday needs of its staff. This includes a salary sacrifice arrangement for mobile devices and a financial education programme, My Financial Choices, provided by a third party. The financial education scheme provides seminars on location and access to one-to-one sessions.
“Offering some form of financial education now is really important,” explains Abbott. “It’s also about trying to recognise what we think will add value to our partners.”
The John Lewis Partnership’s benefits team constantly keeps the benefits proposition under review so that it continues to provide value to its employees both now and in the future. While the organisation’s benefits programme and its longstanding employer reputation serve as a differentiator when it comes to employee attraction and retention, it wants to ensure that the benefits it offers remain relevant, valuable and appealing.
“We are a different type of business, the happiness of our partners is enshrined in our constitution, it’s the first principle,” says Abbott. “Having a rich and broad benefits offer supports partner happiness and is part of the deal partners get in being co-owners.”