5/15/2009 2:59:00 PM
Retail staff bonus scheme ‘cost neutral’ says Carphone Warehouse
Carphone Warehouse has rebuked claims that the new retail staff payment scheme is a means to cut costs and said staff turnover has gone down as a result.
The retailer is overhauling its staff pay schemes in July by scrapping commission in favour of a new staff bonus scheme. Staff basic has gone up, while employees can earn a bonus based on store performance.
Carphone’s UK sales and customer director, Steve Blan, said: ‘The whole programme is cost neutral. It is a redistribution of earnings. But if you are at a store that is not hitting target, you will suffer.’
The new bonus scheme has been trialled in London stores since October 2008. Staff will be paid 2% of the store gross profit (shared between each employee) providing they reach their store target.
Blan said: ‘We wanted to attract better managers and reduce variable pay. Overall, 50% of someone’s earnings were variable pay, now its 80/20 - we thought we might lose some great salespeople but they’ve moved to team leaderships. In addition, staff turnover has gone down.’
He also said: ‘We’ve seen that the selling techniques people were once protective of are now being shared. Great salespeople understand it is in their interest to share knowledge and skills.’
The system will provide clearer lines in terms of selling, said Bland: ‘Now when we take the entire profit over three months, it is a clean profit. If a customer decides to cancel or return, the store profit decreases, therefore it is in staff interests to sell the correct product to the customer.’
Meanwhile, some staff have been left confused by the calculation process for the new system. One Carphone staffer said: ‘Nobody knows how to work out how much you get each month - it is based on so many different things.’
Others are angry, and said their pay has decreased with the new system. One London-based staffer said: ‘The whole thing is a cost cutting exercise – rumour has it that some of the top sellers in the Oxford street stores were getting £1,200 per week with the commission.’
Another staffer said: ‘If you don’t hit the target you get no bonus. These are hard times and if there is someone bad in your team you are handicapped. Senior staff say it is a “work in progress” – they’re just shafting us.’