Anthony, who served 18 years in prison for murder, introduced himself as an interviewee for Timpson Group, a family-owned enterprise operating several brands including Max Spielmann, Johnsons The Cleaners, Snappy Snaps, Jeeves of Belgravia, and The Watch Lab. The company recently announced record profits of £40.64m for a 53-week accounting period to October 1, 2022, with a turnover of £297.4m. Given the impressive numbers, the group has been attracting interest from aspiring investors.
During a Proactive Progress interview with Timpson Group CEO James Timpson OBE, it became apparent that James had pioneered the recruitment of ex-offenders. His approach has resulted in one in nine of the company’s colleagues being prison leavers. James firmly believes in hiring for personality rather than CVs, and several other firms have followed in Timpson’s footsteps. James is also passionate about employing a unique leadership style that empowers in-store colleagues to do what they think is right.
The ethos of the business is to care for its colleagues as its own family, giving them birthdays off, an extra day’s leave when they become a grandparent or their child starts school, and even providing pet bereavement days. All staffs are addressed as ‘colleagues,’ and there is a Very Important Colleague (VIC) red carpet at their Wythenshawe head office. Moreover, the company’s Twitter handle @JamesTCobbler has a following of 176,000, and it is the primary channel for the CEO to communicate his message.
Timpson Group does not believe in spending money on advertising and PR since it has a considerable following due to its unique approach to leadership and employee welfare. During the pandemic, Timpson Group kept its workforce on 100% pay despite having to close its shops because of Covid.
James constantly looks for innovative ideas and believes in engaging with colleagues to understand their challenges and concerns. The company has over 2,000 branches across the UK and is well known for its ‘upside down leadership’ style. The only rules in the business are that all cash collected must be put in the till and that all employees must look the part.
Timpson Group’s success can be attributed to its unique leadership style, focus on employee welfare, and community engagement. James and the Timpson Group have undoubtedly set the bar high for other businesses while staying true to their passion for ex-offender recruitment and attention to detail.