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Is John Lewis the Best Company in Britain to Work for.

  • Date Submitted: 06/15/2012 10:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.2 
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Is John Lewis the best company in Britain to work for?
It is owned by its employees – or partners – who have a say in how it is run, and receive a share of the profits. Surely this is   the way every organisation should be run . . .
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      * Jon Henley
      * The Guardian, Tuesday 16 March 2010
      * Article history

John Lewis's flagship store in central London Photograph: Alex Segre / Alamy/Alamy
It's just before opening time on bonus day at John Lewis and, boy, are we excited. Up and down the country, the 69,000 people who work for the nation's favourite retailer are gathered, impatient. At head office in London's Victoria, in 28 John Lewis department stores from Southampton to Aberdeen, 223 Waitrose supermarkets from Plymouth to Norwich, the ritual's the same: a specially chosen staff member ("partner" in JL-speak) opens an envelope, and reads out a number.
The number will be a percentage. Over the last decade or so, it has ranged from 9% to 22%. It's the percentage of their salary that each John Lewis employee, from executive chairman to checkout operative, takes home as that year's bonus. If the number is 8%, they're looking at an extra month's pay; 16% is two months. So what's in the envelope is pretty important, and in the partnership's flagship Oxford Street store, partners, nearly 2,500 of them, are everywhere: crowded dozens-deep in beauty on the ground floor, lined up on the escalators, hanging over the balconies in the atrium.
"This is the moment," says Adrian Wenn from pictures, lights and mirrors. "This is the moment when all you've done, the contribution you've made, when it all comes home. Hope it's a good one. I've got a wedding to pay for." A good one it is. Frank d'Souza from furniture (picked because he closed the store's largest single sale of last year, at £50,000) tears open the envelope as the assembled throng counts down. He holds the card triumphantly high: 15%. "Magic," cries Lee Bowra from childrenswear....

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