As the business continues to grow it is the skill and enthusiasm of our c.19,000 employees that are the key to its success.
In the UK, 94.0% of our employees work in our stores and in store management. 6.7% of the UK workforce work at our Shirebrook campus, of which 4.4% work in our National Distribution Centre, and 2.3% in the Group Head Office, Finance, Buying, Brands, Retail and IT departments. Of our UK Workforce, 55% are male and 45% female. Employee retention is one of our key KPIs. This Year 17.5% of our UK employees left the business; the vast majority of them were employed on a part-time.
Employee retention is extremely important to retain expertise and as a measure of employee satisfaction. The Board receives a monthly report on the turnover of employees.
Employees are rewarded with fair salaries together with the opportunity to earn additional pay in the form of bonuses. Rates of pay are monitored against national statistics on an annual basis. We believe that performance-based rewards are beneficial to the success of the business and encourage greater employee involvement. This policy starts with the Executive Directors and flows down to all levels of the business.
Following the success of the 2009 Bonus Share Scheme, the Group has launched the 2011 Bonus Share Scheme. If the Group attains the EBITDA targets (detailed in the table below) and employees’ performance is deemed to be satisfactory, eligible employees will receive Sports Direct shares.
Criteria to satisfy 2011 bonus scheme:
• Underlying EBITDA of £215m in 2012
• Underlying EBITDA of £250m in 2013
• Underlying EBITDA of £260m in 2014
• Underlying EBITDA of £300m in 2015
• Individual satisfactory employment performance
A pot of 30 million shares will be distributed between eligible employees. Shares will vest as to 25% of an employee’s allocation in 2015 and 75% in 2017. There will be the opportunity for employees to receive a further award under the Scheme which will vest in 2019.
There is a Staff Forum established at Head Office in Shirebrook. The Forum consists of elected representatives from all departments and management representatives. The Forum takes place on a monthly basis and covers topics ranging from pay, holidays, hours, health and safety, working conditions, equipment needs and developments in and the performance of the business. The Forum encourages open discussion and a Board member will attend at least once a year. Minutes of the Forum’s meetings are posted on notice boards and representatives are encouraged to seek and reflect the views of their constituents.
The Group recognises the right of employees to membership of a trade union and has entered into an agreement with the trade union Unite in respect of collective bargaining of pay, hours of work and holidays of certain groups of employees in the National Distribution Centre.
The Group is committed to the equal treatment of its employees and has formal policies in place that are reviewed on a regular basis. The Equal Opportunity and Diversity policies ensure that employees are treated as individuals, fairly and with respect providing fair and equal opportunities to employees regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, social background, religion, disability or sexuality.
Every effort is made to provide disabled people with equal opportunities for work, training and promotion. Applications for employment by disabled persons are given full and fair consideration for all vacancies in accordance with their particular aptitudes. Where an existing employee becomes disabled the business makes every effort to provide continued employment in the same or similar job or by offering retraining in order that the employee’s employment within the Group may continue. There is a tailored employee handbook for each department. Roll-out began in 2011 and this will be completed in 2013.
Training and development of employees is of great importance as it develops the skills of employees and helps increase efficiency. During 2011/12 the Staff Training and Development Department continued to use the Training Centre to provide state-of-the-art facilities for the Group’s employees to flourish into champions. The objective of this is to give every member of our team the opportunity to be inspired, stimulated, motivated, and empowered to do a better job.
State-of-the-art training facilities now available on the Shirebrook campus include:
• Four specialised training environments
◦◦ SKU (Sports Knowledge Underground)
• 30 specialist Nike training days (SKU) have taken place since August 2010. During 2011/2012, 13 days have taken place.
• 252 employees have now progressed to graduate level, 153 specifically in 2011/2012.
• 64 graduates have also attended a bespoke post-graduate training day hosted by specialists in the fields of Running and Football.
Sports Direct is the World Number One Nike trainer in terms of percentage completion for a multiple door retailer. All salaried staff are currently on an average of 92% completion. 100% completion represents a 15 hour investment of their time to learn about Nike product, Nike technology and how best to sell it. Sports Direct also has access to the SKU app for any Apple hardware such as i-Phones / i-Pads, and 25% of Sports Direct completion rate on SKU is via these devices. The Group works with adidas and Puma to compile robust training programmes to support in-store initiatives and products. In August 2012, 200 people will attend the adidas session and in October 2012, 150 people will attend the Puma session. Dates coincide with the product releases for the Olympics and European Football Championship. New managers and existing managers attend a two-week residential induction programme at Shirebrook. The programme covers a mixture of shop floor-based training and classroom centred activities. Typical subjects covered include merchandising, administration, delivery process, health and safety, shop closure process, product training, and retail business skills.
• 251 managers attended induction training during the Year. A five-day residential course was introduced with the specific aim to encourage existing employees to progress to management positions.
• 25 employees have attended since August 2011.Managers responsible for the footwear department in their branch have been trained over 14 courses. The Footwear Masterclass is a three-day residential course focusing on one of the key categories. Typical subjects covered would include merchandising, staff efficiency, best practice, health and safety, policies and procedures.
• 53 in the Year.
Training has extended to include our European teams between 2011 and 2012. So far 23 managers have attended a two-week residential training programme in the UK, comprising teams from France, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Iceland and Hungary.