As share plan activity ramps up for many – it was good to hear the legal and tax experts, BDO UK, talk about the importance of communications during their latest virtual event.
On Tuesday, 23 February, the team tackled a number of issues for businesses communicating global share plans.
Three lessons particularly struck a chord with me, which I’d love to share with you now.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Strong communication between decision makers and colleagues throughout a share plan’s lifecycle – including development, launch and ongoing engagement – is vital. That’s why the first step to success is a kick-off workshop with all key stakeholders.
When I ran global plans in-house, a strong, diverse internal network was the bedrock to the smooth running of plans. Empowering people with the right knowledge and tools not only helps relieve the amount of admin, but turns them into share plan advocates.
Does your audience ‘get it’?
As BDO Share Plans and Incentives Partner, Matthew Emms, said: “There’s no point in designing an incredible plan and then not clearly explaining it to people. If employees don’t understand and appreciate the incentive, the costs associated in setting it up are lost.”
Budget is always a consideration with communication campaigns, but when you look at the overall costs – including that of the shares themselves – you need to invest time and resources to simplify the complex and deliver a message your employees understand.
You can always make incremental improvements over time to keep costs down, such as leveraging in-house skills, but to skimp on helping your audience to ‘get’ will prove to be a false economy.
Look beyond take up
Global plans are not exclusively about retention. They’re about creating connections and developing a high performance culture, where everyone acts like owners.
The secret here is to broaden your objectives past just take-up and focussing on engagement rates too. To do this, you need the capability to track levels of audience awareness, understanding and appreciation. This could be as simple as short surveys on Slack, Teams or Yammer, but by capturing feedback outside of how many people have signed up to this year’s plan, you’re preparing your business for long-term, sustainable success – and not just quick wins.
Thanks to everyone at BDO UK for an insightful session on global share plans; it was a broad technical update that will help steer the activity this year and shone a spotlight on the importance of employee engagement and inspiring conversations.
If you’d like to carry on the discussion and discover how Eximia can help employees be engaged and ready for the share plan opportunities of today – and tomorrow – let us know.