Asda credits share scheme for low staff turnover

Asda’s people director has boasted the company’s low turnover rate is thanks in part to its share scheme, which last week paid out £43m to 16,500 employees.

Shareholders who have saved a maximum of £250 per month for the past three years will pocket around £13,800, which was over £4,500 more than their original £9,000 investment, or a 150% return.

It is the largest payout at the retailer since it was taken over by Wal-Mart in 1999.

Sarah Dickins, retail people director, said the share scheme had played a large part in reducing turnover to less than 20%, which is 10% below the industry average.

“We have industry-leading retention because of the way we run our business and reward our staff,” she told Personnel Today.

“In the current economic climate, for those who can’t afford a holiday or to replace the car, this definitely is a retention tool, and an effective one at that.”

Last month, Tesco announced a £98m payout for 207,000 staff, although it would be kept in a trust until 2014.

“Five years is a long time to wait for a payout,” Dickins said. “Our staff have said they want the payout immediately, and when 95% choose to cash their shares immediately, we believe there would be no benefit in delaying it.”

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