Last week in the news there was a story about a 5 year old girl who sent £2 to John Lewis after breaking a bauble on a recent visit to the Cambridge store. She attached two £1 coins onto a letter with sellotape saying how sorry she was to have broken it and here was the £2 to pay for it. Against a backdrop of scandal and fraud headlining the news over the past few weeks (the two sisters allegedly defrauding Nigella Lawson just for example), this particular story stands out because of the effort the girl went to but also her parents in ensuring she understood that whilst it was an accident, she should make amends.
Organisations, like people, have their own set of values, beliefs and culture that they embed and this shows in the way they carry out their business. John Lewis is well known for looking after their employee’s (called partners) and their customers. On receiving the letter with no return address, Store Manager, Dominic Joyce, wanted to get in contact the girl so he could say thank you. He even suggested giving her something from the store she might like. The parents apparently got in touch and indicated that was not necessary.
If you look on the John Lewis Partnership website you will find words like trust, integrity, courtesy, honour. They aim ‘to employ people of ability and integrity who are committed to working together and [committed] to supporting its Principles’. They state that relationships are ‘based on mutual respect and courtesy’. There is a lot to be said about the way they conduct business, the customer experience and the employee experience. If only more people shopped or worked at John Lewis, the world might be a better place.