GOING UP: While more store employees across the globe are calling for higher wages, Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. is joining the fray and will remunerate all employees in Japan based on their ambition, talents and contribution to the business.
The change of pace was announced Wednesday and will get rolling in March. The effort is part of the retail conglomerate’s plans to increase growth and competitiveness in line with global standards. Renumeration is already underway in its home country of Japan, where wage levels have remained low. With Japan’s inflation rate at a 41-year high, prime minister Fumio Kishida called on businesses last week to raise staffers’ wages to avoid stagflation.
The parent company of Uniqlo is also reevaluating its human resources system, to better enable it to compensate individual employees based on their growth, ambition and ability to contribute to the business. The pay upgrade will encompass corporate employees and store employees. One of the objectives is to establish a management structure that can better remunerate employees for the benefit of the company as a whole.
The company will map out the desired abilities and requirements for each occupational category and level, then increase the renumeration level of each employee by as much as 40 percent. Fast Retailing’s aim is to match the reality of the company’s flat, “highly maneuverable” management structure. The approach will include tweaking base pay and a bonus determined by performance results for each period, and position-based allowances currently existing in Japan will be eliminated.
An example of the boost in Japan, is the monthly salary of an entry-level employee with a college degree will increase from the current rate of 255,000 yen to 300,000 yen (or $2,300) — accounting for an annual salary increase of approximately 18 percent. In addition, the salary for a new store manager in their first or second year will increase from 290,000 yen to 390,000 yen — an annual gain of about 36 percent. For other employees, the company plans to increase annual salaries by as much as 40 percent.