The multiple is creating a raft of team leader roles to support line managers, the latest in a series of initiatives designed to improve staff development, provide better customer service and sharpen processes such as compliance and availability.
The new store management structure, which has been trialled at selected stores since late last year, will free up managers to drive the business and allow shop floor staff to increase their responsibilities and earn more cash.
Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy has been particularly proactive on the training front over the last 12 months, spearheading the ECR’s progressive management scheme for industry high flyers and a General Learning Programme designed to train managers to work more effectively with suppliers. However, the team leader project was the first attempt to takes those principles to the shop floor, said a spokesman.
“The roles will enable us to bridge the gap between the shop floor and managers, and will help communications in stores. But we are not actually recruiting more people.”
He added: “These are hands-on roles so people will act as the first port of call within a department, especially as managers are not always on the shop floor. If something comes out of head office, the team leader will make sure that everyone knows what they are doing and implements it.”
One Tesco Extra manager said the move had been welcomed by staff. He said: “It’s about servicing the customer better.
“Tesco used to have supervisors and then took them away, so line managers are now doing more than they used to. This frees them up and means team leaders can deal with things such as attendance and training. We have 20-plus line managers in our store but they are not free to deal with these things all the time.”
The scheme was unveiled as Tesco posted a market-leading 7.6% rise in like-for-like sales growth (ex-petrol) and 12.1% total sales growth in the UK in the seven weeks to January 8 and revealed plans to trial a standalone non-food format.
International sales were up 16.1% despite tough trading in Poland and Hungary.
The figures prompted renewed calls from Federation of Wholesale Distributors director general Alan Toft for a moratorium on all future acquisitions by the big four linked to a market review.