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Last Year's Winners


Best New Share Plan – Newly Listed Companies

QinetiQ logo
Winner: QinetiQ

QinetiQ was felt to be a deserving winner as they stuck to their decision to offer three plans, in addition to other employee benefits, at the time of flotation. QinetiQ tackled head on the problem of communication to employees of potentially confusing and complex information. The judges were impressed by the effort to handle the complexity of the plans and especially with the top level endorsement of the Chief Executive, which clearly helped the company to achieve its objective of encouraging a share ownership culture upon flotation.

Euronext logo
Commended: Euronext NV

The judges felt that Euronext merited a commendation for explicitly linking plan design with their corporate objectives and were impressed with the early adoption of the tax-effective new French plan, "Attribution gratuites d'actions".

Both these entries demonstrated the positive impact that Board involvement can have.


Best New Share Plan – Existing Listed Companies

Enterprise Inns logo
Winner: Enterprise Inns

Enterprise had a great reason to introduce a new share plan – to celebrate their 10th anniversary. It was clear that they wished to reward employees for their part in the company's success. The removal of eligibility criteria to join the SIP demonstrated the company's objective to motivate and reward all employees. With a generous 1 for 1 match and careful timing to coincide with bonus payments, the company achieved excellent results, with an average investment of £1,400. With thorough planning and execution, Enterprise has shown excellent commitment to its employees.

Hammerson plc logo
Commended: Hammerson plc

Hammerson demonstrated a very clear objective to have a 100% share owning employee population and this was achieved by the use of Free Shares. However, a desire to extend to all employees their top level strategy of encouraging directors to own 50% of their salary in shares, coupled with an extremely generous 2 for 1 match, has resulted in an extremely high take up of 89% for UK Partnership Shares. The judges applauded Hammerson's additional special touches, including an Outlook meeting request from the Chief Executive to attend his presentation. This is a well deserved commendation.


Best Financial Education Programme for Employees

Capita Group plc logo
Winner: The Capita Group plc

Although Capita won this Award last year, the judges were pleased to see that they have continued their "holistic" approach to Financial Education. The judges would have liked to have seen a few measures to indicate the success of the financial education programme but could not fault the degree of enthusiasm placed on the importance of financial education and the comprehensive range of tools and facilities offered to increase financial awareness. The fact that the programme content also came from the employees themselves was another winning factor.

Commended: No commendations

The judges were disappointed with the overall level of entries in this category and feel that more companies should be encouraged to enter to demonstrate the different range of facilities offered.


Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan

0 - 1000 employees

Enterprise Inns logo
Winner: Enterprise Inns

The judges were pleased to be able to make a second award to Enterprise Inns and felt that the Company set a good example to smaller companies who want to reward and motivate their employees. It was clear that Enterprise wanted all their employees to share in the celebration of the 10th anniversary of their flotation. The judges liked the innovative use of the annual employee conference for the Chief Executive to endorse participation in the SIP. The clear and simple rationale was well communicated with a resounding 61% take up of Partnership Shares.

Commended: No commendations

Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan

1,001 – 10, 000 employees

easyJet plc logo
Winner: easyJet plc

easyJet won an award for best new share plan last year so it was pleasing to see that they had not rested on their laurels. The judges particularly felt that communications encouraged participation through their exceptional clarity, effective marketing and overall appeal. The combination of branding SIP as a Buy As You Earn Plan to mirror the SAYE Plan and using the distinctive easyJet orange was impressive and clearly effective. The brochure, designed in conjunction with the Cultural Forum, was easy to understand and modern in look, in keeping with the company's image and its relatively youthful employee base.


Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan

10,001 + employees

J Sainsbury plc logo
Winner: J Sainsbury plc

Sainsbury's incorporated a new corporate strapline "Try something new today" into their share plan design to good effect. The judges were impressed by their use of employee testing and feedback of documents to ensure that the tone of messages was more "conversational" and more widely understood. A variety of innovative communications media, including the use of "tabletalkers" in the staff restaurant, comprehensive pocket guides for all HR managers in all stores and plasma screens, reversed 8 years of decline and resulted in a significant 38% increase in take up. Sainsbury's was a clear winner in this category.

BT logo
Commended: BT

BT deserves a commendation for their extensive consultation of employees and consistent desire to improve communications and to increase employee's satisfaction with the quality and content of documentation. The judges also commended BT's recognition of the complexity of communication to many different overseas countries, the use of webchats to address employees' individual questions and clever rebranding using lifestyle images and the "share in BT" strapline.


Best Overall Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership

0 - 1,000 employees

Hammerson plc logo
Winner: Hammerson plc

Hammerson has shown a distinct commitment to fostering employee share ownership throughout its workforce. The top management and executives set the rest of the workforce an excellent example with a strategic objective of holding 50% of their salary in shares. Compulsory attendance at a CEO presentation, also attended by all the directors, proves that visible champions of employee share ownership can have a very positive effect on the entire workforce. Plan design is linked closely to the business objectives in all respects, even down to setting specific French performance objectives for employees based in France.


Best Overall Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership

1,001 – 10,000 employees

easyJet plc logo
Winner: easyJet

The judges were delighted to make this second award to easyJet where employee share ownership is an everyday part of the corporate culture. They have achieved an excellent take up in both SIP and SAYE by making a real effort to reach all segments of their workforce and cabin crews in particular. What particularly pleased the judges was the company's ongoing commitment to expanding share ownership by the intention to issue up to £3,000 of Free Shares this year. Overall the judges felt that share plans have now become wholly integrated within the inclusive easyJet culture.

Commended: BG Group

BG's vision and objectives towards a share owning workforce is very clear. What marked out their entry was the innovative way they had addressed the very complex area of tax equalisation, ensuring that mobile employees were treated equally and received their shares or proceeds without the downside of a later tax bill.


Best Overall Performance in Fostering Employee Share Ownership

10,001 + employees

HSBC logo
Winner: HSBC

A well deserved winner of this category – HSBC lives and breathes diversity and this came through loud and clear in their entry. They are a big bank but its ethos of being a global bank with a local approach pays dividends in its approach to employee share ownership. HSBC brings home to its employees globally the value of employee share ownership and why they count. The judges particularly liked the way the International Sharesave had been offered in 4 different currencies together with the option of a fixed term dollar savings accounts to reduce forex problems and minimise the problem of residuals.

Another impressive touch was the inclusion of personal messages, some very touching, from individual employees from across the world on what share ownership had meant in their lives. This brought home exactly why employee share ownership can be so special.

A great example of how huge companies can make the difference.

Commended: BT
BT logo

The judges want to applaud the way that BT consistently sets a high standard, is always a leader and, despite their many achievements, is always looking at ways to improve their employees' understanding of and satisfaction with BT's employee benefits.

HBOS Employee Share Solutions