The 2009 Bonus - one to shout about!
Thrilled! That was the response around the business as Partners received news that this year’s Bonus is 13 per cent, equivalent to almost 10 weeks’ pay, Carol Miller reports. On Wednesday, Partners in all areas of the business anxiously awaited 9.30am, the time traditionally set for the opening of envelopes containing the Bonus fi gure in Waitrose and John Lewis, many gathering in Partners’ dining-rooms for the big moment. Partnership Chairman Charlie Mayfi eld and Waitrose MD Mark Price had already been widely quoted in the media regarding a drop in profits, reflecting the current global financial recession, so Partners were bracing themselves for how this would affect the Bonus, a percentage of the annual salary of all Partners across the business. “Overjoyed” was the general reaction in an initial canvas of Partners. The announcement this year came a day early, on Wednesday, which enabled the Waitrose Chronicle to include news of the Bonus as it went to press. Thanks to the cooperation of a number of branches around the country, pictures with feedback reached our newsroom in time for our deadline. At Dibden near Southampton, Muriel Mason, who has been at the branch for 27 years and is soon to retire, opened the envelope and she was “amazed” according to Branch Manager Chris Parry. “When the Bonus figure was revealed there was a very real shock at how good it was,” said Chris. “The Partners in the branch have seen how difficult trading conditions have become over the last six to eight months and had very realistic expectations about what the Bonus would be. The 13 per cent eclipsed most of those expectations and the reaction was one of surprised delight with many Partners saying they were over the moon.” At the other end of the country, at Newcastle’s Eldon Square branch, Goods Receiving Partner Jimmy Fisher opened the envelope and Department Manager Lee Coleman said: “All our Partners are very pleased with the result, I think the expectation was eight or nine per cent! So we were all a very jolly bunch this morning!” News at Buxton was unveiled by Checkouts/Deliver Partner Jackie Whitney, whose birthday it was on the day. A special visitor also came to the branch to see the opening of the envelope – baby Daisy Hazelwood was brought in by her mum, Checkouts Partner Jilly. Branch Manager Tessa Shaw reported: “The entire team was thrilled and ecstatic with the 13 per cent. Our expectation was very much six per cent upwards – much lower than this figure.” “There was no hiding Jilly’s delight as she announced she was off to John Lewis Cheadle to ‘re-invest’ the money in a baby-walker, meanwhile the rest of the team was rapidly texted or told over the tannoy system to ensure that they did not miss out on the magic number.” Partners at Cheltenham insisted their Branch Manager Trevor Williams open the Bonus envelope, as it is his last Bonus announcement before retiring from the Partnership after 37 years’ service Department Manager Branch Services Dan Morehead said: “Partners were absolutely delighted and surprised with the 13 per cent and there were cheers all round the branch when the announcement was made.” At Bracknell, Partners were jumping for joy at the news in the Partners’ dining-room. Sally Hobbs, Duty Manager Customer Services, celebrating her birthday on Wednesday was given the honour of opening the envelope, and she said: “This is more than I expected – it’s a wonderful birthday surprise!” The local press popped into our Sandhurst branch to cover the announcement and snapped a picture of Julie McDermott opening the Bonus envelope. Julie was asked to reveal the Bonus fi gure to celebrate her 25 years’ service with Waitrose, which she will achieve in April. Helen Guerin, a Waitrose Partner for 28 years, revealed the Bonus figure at Harrow Weald where Branch Manager Mark Brown said: “The Bonus this year is a credit to all of our Partners’ hard work and determination during a very tough trading year. Partners at Harrow Weald were genuinely surprised and delighted with today’s Bonus announcement in this very turbulent economic climate.
Waitrose chronicle Volume 69 – no 11 14 March 2009