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After 30 years at John Lewis, including ten as MD of Waitrose and three as Deputy Chairman of the group, Mark left business for government serving as a trade minister. He then compiled his experiences in his book Fairness for All, in which he makes the business and social case for companies to put their employees at the heart of what they do. He also brought together examples of excellence, as well as poor and bewildering business behaviour in his entertaining yet salutary book Workplace Fables. He combines this with his Chairmanship of Fairtrade and experience founding a digital platform measuring workplace happiness to consider every aspect of leadership, engagement and the future of business.
Mark Price was the Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership. After over 30 years with John Lewis he went on to serve as a Minister for Trade and Investment, and later Trade Policy as a member of the House of Lords, whilst also exploring the importance of employee engagement to productivity and innovation.
After studying archaeology Mark joined John Lewis as a graduate trainee, quickly rising to store manager. He joined the company’s board as Development Director and shortly afterwards became Waitrose MD, a role he held for a decade. In his first six years he almost doubled the number of Waitrose stores across the country and further established the business as an influential brand leader in the highly competitive sector. Whilst serving as MD Mark also became the Deputy Chairman of the supermarket’s parent company, the John Lewis Partnership.
On leaving John Lewis, Mark joined the House of Lords and was appointed a Minister of State for Trade. He advocated for business in government and represented national commercial interests abroad before and after the vote to leave the EU. Having left government he went on to write Fairness for All, a look at the social and economic importance for business to place employees at the centre of their values, inspired by his time at John Lewis but incorporating a variety of examples. He expanded on some of those themes in his book Six Steps to Workplace Happiness, whilst in Workplace Fables he considers broader examples of good, bad, and amusingly stupid practice in business offering salutatory lessons for anyone working in or leading a company.
As well as his John Lewis, government and writing work, Mark is the Chair of Fairtrade, the body striving to ensure suppliers and workers around the world are paid fairly and treated decently. He is also the founder of Engaging Works, an online platform designed at measuring employee engagement and happiness, and using that data to improve business productivity and personal career goals. He has also served as Chairman of charitable body Business in the Community and on the board of Channel 4.
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Six steps to employee engagement