Shining Stars or Mickey Mouse?

Oct 22 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

It's nothing personal (honestly!), but as Sainsbury's are finding, once you are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it is very hard to get out of them (at least until the next corporate disaster comes along).

The latest from the troubled supermarket is an "incentive scheme" dubbed Shining Stars which is apparently mean to reward staff for good performance. Rather like a simple reward scheme, the Shining Stars points will be redeemable for items in a gift catalogue.

Morale at Sainsbury's has been at rock bottom ever since ousted boss Peter Davis abolished the traditional £100 staff Christmas bonus for its 100,000 full-time staff at the same time as accepting share options for himself worth £1.4 million - a move which was to lead to his downfall at the hand of furious investors.

But if Shining Stars was meant to improve matters, nothing could be further from the truth. As one furious employee quoted in the Daily Mirror said: "It's a joke ...the idea they are going to award us gold stars if we're good.

"What do they think we are - primary school kids?

"How about talking about pay and giving us back the Christmas bonus. That might motivate people better than some Mickey Mouse scheme."

If Sainsbury's management team thinks that £10 million is really too big a price to pay to win back the support of its workforce, how does it think that coming up with patronising gimmicks like this is going to help them?

No wonder their staff always look so miserable.

Older Comments

I worked at a Sainsbury's store as a bakery assistant. I have worked man jobs in my relatively short life, and I have never felt as patronised and humiliated as I did when I worked there. I was treated like dirt, the management did not trust me (they had no reason not to), and, when I was ill with the 'flu, they were ringing me to ask me to come into work. In a bakery, where I would have infected the whole town. And the gold stars.... If my name ever went on the shining stars wall I think I would have shot myself.