While new Morrisons CEO David Potts this week continued to make waves at the retailer’s HQ - culling about 20 senior directors - frontline store staff welcomed the addition of more in-store colleagues.
Commenting on a Morrisons employee forum, staff were effusive in their praise of the changes introduced by Potts and new chairman Andrew Higginson. In particular, they welcomed the arrival of reinforcements in the form of more part-time staff.
The retailer is currently recruiting additional part-time staff to increase numbers on the shop floor during afternoons, evenings and weekends. “It means there will be more staff on the shop floor at the times when stores are busiest to ensure we maintain the best levels of customer service,” a Morrisons spokesman said.
Posters on the Morrisons forum were quick to praise the move. “I can feel changes happening in my store already,” said one. “We have recruited around 30 part-timers in the past few weeks, so already the relief cashier calls are at an all-time low. Shop floor is looking better because of it too. Shop floor staff can now spend almost all their hours in their departments.”
Another Morrisons staffer told The Grocer Potts had already built up a lot of credit with the rank and file, highlighting his decision to cull Morrisons’ automated queue management system, which had long been unpopular with in-store staff.
“Getting rid of the Intelligent Queue Management system and taking on staff has made him into some kind of superhero in staff eyes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big boost for us but it’s something that shouldn’t have had to happen in the first place,” he said.
“At the moment our GM has been told to spend as much money as he possibly can, extra days for staff etc. It’s like a strange different universe to what we are used to. I don’t want to say it out loud, but things are looking up so far! Let’s see how it pans out.”
The in-store changes come as it emerged this week about 20 more directors were being made redundant at Morrisons’ Bradford HQ, after five members of the management board were ousted the previous week. Morrisons refused to name the directors involved in the latest cull, but said the number of staff affected was less than 20.
“Following the announcement of a reshaped management board, we have had a number of redundancy conversations with senior managers at the next level in our organisation.” said the Morrisons spokesman. “These steps are aimed at creating a simpler, leaner Morrisons.”
big changes at Morrisons
- Misty veg: the infamous misting machines for displaying fresh produce have been removed.
- Layouts: managers have more autonomy in terms of layout and promotional stock levels. Stores can now re-introduce the promotional dump bins cut last year.
- Queues: the Intelligent Queue Management system has been axed with staff told it’s up to them to make decisions on checkouts and queues.
- Head office: Potts promised to spend Easter week in-store along with over 1,000 head office staff. From next year, all 2,000 will have to spend a week in-store annually.
- Management: last week five board members were sacked. About 20 further senior directors were also made redundant this week.