Podcast Episode 26 is out: Janet Leighton from Timpson

By Lukas on 22 Nov 2023

Hiring ex-offenders, the importance of employee happiness, a business with no marketing department…

Timpson has been a fixture on our high streets since 1865 in the UK. In recent years, they’ve received acclaim for their approach to hiring ex-offenders. Now, 10% of their workforce have been given an opportunity after a criminal conviction. A unique ‘upside-down’ company, Timpson eschews many traditional business practices. For example, they don’t have a marketing and communications department. In this episode we meet Janet Leighton, Director of Happiness at Timpson. She discusses:

  • How she’s gained a reputation for being ‘bonkers’
  • How her natural optimism gives her resilience
  • How important it is to be yourself at work
  • How belief in people and being kind and considerate is a key to maintaining optimism in the face of challenges
  • What has kept her at Timpson for 20 years
  • How Timpson functions without  a marketing and comms team 
  • How to get an email reply from James Timpson, the CEO
  • Timpson’s unique ‘upside down management’ style 
  • Her road to the role ‘Director of Happiness’
  • How happiness isn’t soft and fluffy
  • Their radical ‘in-house’ approach to everything
  • The day to day of a ‘Director of Happiness’, including what Janet was dealing with on the day of recording
  • How Janet deals with colleague issues from financial risk, to suicide
  • The importance of colleague wellbeing in business performance
  • How she feels the solution to financial wellbeing is not necessarily as simple as paying people more
  • What led Timpson to pay for colleagues family funerals
  • Timpson’s work with offenders and their approach to recruiting ex-offenders
  • Workers joining the company via ‘release on temporary licence’
  • How best to support ex-offenders entering the workforce 
  • How they don’t use CVs and are only interested in ‘what you’re doing today, and what you want to do tomorrow’
  • The state of UK prisons 
  • Some of the success stories from the prison recruitment programme
  • Her offer of help to any business who’s interested in starting a programme for people with prison lived experience 

Want to appear? Email podcast@standingongiants.com

You can listen to the podcast here:

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