Spark makes $40K pay pledge

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Communications giant Spark says it’s making a public commitment to a higher wage economy after announcing an innovative new pay system on Sunday afternoon.

The ‘Spark Pay’ scheme grants a salary of at least $40,000 to all non-commission based full-time employees plus company benefits. Employees who earn a lower base salary will have the ability to earn an average of $42,000 but can make more if they outperform their targets.

“This is about being a responsible employer,” said Danielle George, general manager of HR at the nationwide service provider. “We will always look to do better, but this is our way of helping transform New Zealand into a higher wage economy.”

According to Auckland-based George, the company has been overhauling its employment practices for a number of years and the new pay system is just the latest in a series of improvements.

 “We have revised our entire value proposition, exploring how we can best deliver base pay and meaningful benefits – all designed to meet the needs of a very diverse workforce,” she stressed.

“Our ambition is to make Spark one of the best employers in New Zealand.  Average performance isn’t going to get us there: we want our people to be ‘better than average’ and therefore we’ve tried to come up with innovative ways of rewarding, recognising and compensating our people.”

The company has also joined the growing number of major players to abandon outdated employee reviews.

“Given the speed of change within our industry, we’ve also done away with cumbersome, drawn out traditional performance appraisals and have moved to a world where we want all our people to have a regular one-on-one meeting with their boss or team leader,” said George.

“It’s radically changed the speed with which we operate, and it’s greatly improved the quality of the discussions we have with our people.”

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