Home improvement giant Kingfisher is to reward high-performing store managers with shares worth up to six months of their salary.

Speaking at the Retail Week Conference on Wednesday afternoon, Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire said the scheme had been rolled out across the UK and France, with other Kingfisher territories expected to follow suit soon.

Cheshire said: “I’m probably not allowed to say this in public now, but bonuses are not a bad thing, provided you know why you’re paying them and that they are sustainable. It’s critical that people are recognised. Cash may be a dirty word but it’s fundamental.”

Store managers, who must meet specific performance requirements to qualify for the scheme, could see their number of shares doubled if they hold on to them for “two or three years”, which Cheshire said is equivalent to a year’s salary.

In the “Leading change: Strengthening your team for tougher times” presentation, Cheshire also said that companies should not scale back investment in training and development in tough times, adding that retail is the “ultimate team sport”.