Sainsbury’s looks to boost morale with new bonuses

Sainsbury’s is implementing a series of new HR initiatives in an attempt to improve staff morale, as part of a 950m rescue plan unveiled last week.

Announcing the results of a three-month strategic review, the supermarket chain admitted that low staff morale has been a major factor in its financial struggles of recent years. It has issued four profit warnings this year.

The company announced a new bonus scheme, which “rewards all [staff] on store standards and availabilty” to help create a culture focused on support and customers. Staff suggestion and reward and recognition schemes have also been introduced.

The review – called Making Sainsbury’s Great Again – confirmed the retailer will be taking on 3,000 extra store staff, with working hours “optimised to match customers’ requirements”.

Citing head office costs that were “significantly above those of competitors”, the company also said 750 non-store jobs would be axed, in addition to the 750 cuts announced earlier this year.

Sainsbury’s pensions policy also came under the spotlight last week, when a consultant warned that the company was risking a shortfall in its pension fund through a change in its investment strategy.

The company now invests 60 per cent of its assets in shares, which carry a higher risk, and 40 per cent in bonds. In a research note for RBC Capital Markets, John Ralfe said the increased risk means the company should now be contributing 53m rather than the current 20m to the fund.

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