Back to news

Chairman of Timpson shares his thoughts on staff engagement

John Timpson

25 February 2016

The chairman of family-owned retailers Timpson has delivered a Masterclass on getting the best out of staff. 

Addressing a business audience at Lancaster University Management School on Wednesday, John Timpson CBE spoke about how to better engage with colleagues to ensure they feel a part of the business.

Timpson is a multinational retailer specialising in shoe repairs, key cutting and engraving, as well as dry cleaning and photo processing. The company also offers mobile phone and watch repairs. Timpson was established in 1865 and now has around 1,400 shops in the UK. Timpson's management team uses a business model which gives autonomy to the teams working in individual stores. Mr Timpson and his son James, the company’s CEO, regularly visit shops to speak to employees about how to make the business better.

Mr Timpson said: “We give staff autonomy to run the business as they see fit which empowers them and makes for a better working environment. It’s important to bring people on board who have the right personality but we don’t tell them what to do so they have to be self-motivated.”

The talk was part of a series of inspirational business Masterclasses hosted by Lancaster University Management School and supported by NatWest.

Speaking prior to the Masterclass, Helen Fogg, Head of Business Engagement (International) at Lancaster University Management School, said: “Timpson is one of our best known High Street shops and one of the UK’s most progressive businesses. With more than four decades leading his family business Mr Timpson’s Masterclass is sure to offer a great number of valuable insights and lessons learned from running his successful company.”

Sue Haslem, Relationship Director at NatWest, said: “Timpson has an excellent reputation for its staff engagement and is highly regarded as a great place to work. We look forward to John Timpson’s talk as part of this month’s Masterclass.”

The Masterclass series is open to all business owners and managers across the North West. They are free to attend, but places are limited and must be reserved by contacting Pete Cornwall on 01524 510728.