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18 April 2004
Sunday Herald
Wise employers are sharing the profits

After the approval of a bonus scheme at advertising giant WPP that could see its chief executive receive 44m over five years, Mario Gizzi's pay compensation seems rather inconsequential. The big cheese of Di Maggio's pizza and pasta restaurant chain took home 840,470 in 2003, including a 45,000 pension contribution.

But in a Scottish context, that makes Gizzi one of the country's highest corporate earners. So it's a good thing then, that Gizzi has agreed to share some of the wealth with his hard-working staff with the establishment of an Employee Benefit Trust.

At a time when school guidance counsellors are advising students that they could have 18 different jobs in their lifetime, securing employee loyalty has never been more difficult.

A steady stream of fat-cat executive pay hikes, while the underlings collect their cost-of-living increases, does not go a long way to motivate or retain valuable talent. Many of the banks received a barrage of criticism over their ever-mounting record profits, but at least Halifax Bank of Scotland has a scheme that will see their entire staff gain an average 12%-of-salary bonus.

Companies that recognise that their staff deserve extra reward when times are good should be applauded and emulated. It could be the decision that keeps your staff from making a run for greener pastures - namely your competitors.

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