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EOA Better Together – Creating the right environment: A productive workforce fit for the future

May 21, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


May 21, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Creating the right environment: A productive workforce fit for the future

The world of work has changed, possibly forever, as the Covid-19 crisis has changed supply and demand in ways that were previously unimaginable.

This webinar will address what business have learnt from having a workforce which has needed to adapt to new and smarter ways of working and how this will impact on future ways of working.

Two senior leaders from EOA member, the John Lewis Partnership, will reflect on the decisions taken by the UK’s largest high street retailer in response to the crisis so far and consider what new working models, flexibility and partner engagement through the power of technology.

Co founder and Director of the Institute for the Future of Work, Anna Thomas, will reflect on the acceleration of technology in the workplace and how the COVID-19 crisis has super-charged this, providing new thinking about the art of the possible in terms operations, learning and culture.


Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive, Employee Ownership Association (Chair)

Chris Earnshaw, Partner & President of The Partnership Council, John Lewis Partnership

Tracey Killen, Executive Director, People, John Lewis Partnership

Anna Thomas, Co-founder and Director of the Institute for the Future of Work


Chris Earnshaw, Partner & President of The Partnership Council, John Lewis Partnership

Chris joined the Partnership in 1998, on the management development programme.  He has worked in various roles across John Lewis & Partners, including Head of Branch in Cardiff and Liverpool.

Over the previous 4 years Chris worked in Waitrose & Partners, where he was latterly Head of Shop Trade for the North and Channel Islands. Now, as President of Partnership Council, he is responsible both for the running of the Council (governing authority) and the democratic structures throughout the John Lewis Partnership.  This includes overall responsibility for the independence, health and vitality of democracy for over 80,000 Partners.

Tracey Killen, Executive Director, People, John Lewis Partnership

Tracey has spent her working life with the Partnership, joining in 1982 as an A-Level trainee at John Lewis & Partners Bristol. After several retail roles, she became Staff Manager in 1992 and in 1995 she moved to John Lewis & Partners High Wycombe as Merchandise Manager and later that year was appointed General Manager Bristol and then General Manager Cribbs Causeway when the Bristol shop relocated there in 1998. Tracey was promoted to Managing Director, John Lewis & Partners Cribbs Causeway in 2000 and became Personnel Director for John Lewis & Partners in July 2002. She joined the Partnership Board and Executive Team as Director of Personnel in April 2007 and became Executive Director, People for the John Lewis Partnership in February 2020.

Anna Thomas, Co-founder and Director of the Institute for the Future of Work

Anna was formerly a barrister from Devereux Chambers, specialising in employment law and appointed a Counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Anna was Head of Future of Work Policy for the Future of Work Commission and is a Fellow of the IPR, RSA and IEO.