Discount scheme slashed while top dogs split £20mOn 14 Sep 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Employeesat high street retailer WH Smith have been told that their generous discountscheme will be slashed in half – only days after it emerged that senior executives could share a £20m bonuspayout. Althoughcutting the discount from 25 per cent 12.5 per cent brings WH Smith in linewith most other retailers, experts warned that the move may damage the moraleof staff who are being askedto help turn the company around.WHSmith has seen profits fall and sales decline, due to a combination ofincreased competition from supermarkets and problems with its supply chain.”Ifstaff are attracted becauseof employee discounts, there is a danger that cutting them may affect thecompany’s ability to recruit new staff and could lead to people leaving,”said Charles Cotton, adviser for reward at the Chartered Institute of Personneland Development. “That could lead to a spiral of demotivation which would end up having an impact oncustomer service and the bottom line.”WHSmith claimed the new move was not aimed at saving money, but at making thediscounts “easier to understand” for staff. Previously goods in asale or a special promotion did not attract a discount, but now everythingcould be bought by staff at a reduction of 12.5 per cent, the company said.Daysbefore the discount cut was announced, it emerged the 40 top managers at WHSmith stood to earn almost £20m in shares in three years’ time, if thecompany’s share price meets certain criteria. Underthe scheme, which needs shareholder approval at a meeting later this month,chief executive Kate Swann could earn £3.9m if the company performs well. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.