Retailer John Lewis, the UK’s best-known mutual company, is to advise public sector organisations on how to improve by involving staff.

Its involvement is part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘big society’ initiative to encourage some public sector bodies to run their services as co-operatives with a say over management and financial decisions.

John Lewis Partnership chairman Charlie Mayfield told the Daily Telegraph: “Being employee-owned is an approach that has served our business well for over 80 years.

“Whilst not a guaranteed solution to today’s challenges the strengths of an employee-led model – such as an empowered and informed workforce and a close alignment of motivation between managers and employees – has helped us create a strong culture of trust, innovation and customer service.”