Monday, October 1, 2007

68,000 Employees Own a Company: Waitrose

Can you imagine a real large company owned by their staff? Waitrose, John Lewis and Greenbee, who run the major UK retailer Waitrose has the model. Their 68,000 employees own the business. Well, they don't talk about employess, they call them partners.

"Our first two priorities are: happiness of our partners and hapiness of our customers," says Stuart Hampson, ex-chairman of John Lewis partnership. "When we do so, profits come naturally." The company's philosophy reads:
"The Partnership was ahead of its time in recognising that commercial success depended on showing the highest level of good citizenship in its behaviour within the community. Today we are best known for the fact that our business is owned for the benefit of our employees – all of whom are Partners and share in its profits – but we know that to cut our way through tough competitive conditions, we have to continue to prize sound relationships with our customers and suppliers, and sustain a keen sense of civic responsibility."

It goes without saying that Waitrose has put the bars high in their environmental policy and with regards to the relationship to their suppliers.

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