Employee Ownership Australia & New Zealand Awards Night

2017 Employee Ownership Conference and Awards

Every year Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand awards companies that show excellence in employee engagement and ownership. This year we are extremely excited about our Annual Conference and Awards Night.

Nominate for Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand 2017 Awards 

Use our easy online nomination form and let us know who you think should be awarded for best practice in employee ownership.

2016 Employee Ownership Awards Highlights 

The Sharing Employee Ownership Future Conference, Awards and Luncheon for 2016 was a great success.

Here is just some the outstanding feedback we have received from attendees:

“A great range of perspectives and I found the links to innovation and governance
very thought provoking”
“Enjoyed the networking and learning from other organisations that presented.
Great guest speakers”
“Focus on innovation was brilliant, much more interesting and
engaging than similar conferences”

2016 Employee Ownership Awards Wrap

EOA Awards – ready to be presented

Best International Employee Share Plan – South32

South32’s “AllShare” employee share plan was an award of USD1,250 to all eligible employees spanning across 8 countries. Eligible employees were invited to receive rights to shares or cash with a time based vesting of either two or three years depending on the requirements of the country in which they reside.

The AllShare employee share plan design contained three main facets; employees that would receive shares at vesting on the ASX, employees that would receive shares at vesting on the JSE and employees that would be settled in cash at vesting (ie: Mozambique and Columbia due to local laws placing restrictions on South32 offering securities in these two regions).

EOA was extremely impressed with this company’s desire to ensure that as many employees as possible could participate in the plan. We really liked the fact that the plan was consistent across all the countries and employees. 

The plan also was used to support the spirit and intent of the national transformation and empowerment agenda in South Africa. Also. the participation rate was very strong despite the very broad base of 16,549 eligible employees. The communications program, employee engagement and having an opt-out offer resulted in a 99.97% take-up.  Of the 16,549 eligible employees, only 37 decided that they did not want to participate.

Best New Employee Share Plan – ASX Limited

ASX Ltd’s “General Employee Share Plan” was offered to their 545 Employees in February, 2016, providing the opportunity to acquire up to $1,000 of ASX Shares pre-tax. The shares were offered at a 10% discount, with 278 employees immediately accepting the offer to participate, a 51% take up/participation rate in the plan.

The General Employee Share Plan was designed so that it would link with ASX Ltd’s business and corporate objectives and would support ASX employees becoming and acting like owners of the business. A key feature of the share plan was a 10% discount on the shares allocated under the plan, with the discount providing the incentive to participate. Importantly, the share plan supported a greater sense of ownership because staff had to spend their own money to participate, with payment for 90% cost of shares deducted from pay over remainder of financial year.

This plan required some financial commitment from employees to participate which traditionally means lower participation rates. This plan achieved a 51% take up rate which is significantly above market average, this was particularly impressive given the offer period was 10 days.

EOA really liked the use of technology to help engage employees and the lengths to which the company went to ensure that those on parental and other leave were included and encouraged to participate.

We liked that the company had thought about the timing of the offer.  It was designed to immediately precede payment of the half-year dividend, so employees immediately felt like owners.

Most Effective and Innovative Communications Program –  Brambles Limited

Joanna Mak flanked by Hon Ed Husic MP and EOA Chair Angela Perry

MyShare is Brambles’ global Employee Share plan which has been designed to give Brambles 13,000 eligible employees across 40 countries the opportunity to build ownership in the company. Through participation in MyShare, employees can purchase shares in Brambles and have those shares matched by Brambles on a 1:1 basis if certain conditions are met. Brambles has shown continued and prolonged commitment to fostering this plan amongst all of their employees and they have made a well resourced effort to simplify and communicate the plan, not only through their internet platform MyShare, but through translation into the many languages needed to suit the nationalities participating.

The communications material involved is subject to extensive feedback and through the use of cartoons, pictures and graphics, it is made as easy as possible for all employees to understand, especially the blue collar workers situated across all 40 countries. Given the nature of the plan and the size and diversity of their population, their take up rate of 30% is very impressive.

EOA really loved the enthusiasm and creativity of the company in it communications. It went above and beyond to make the plan accessible to employees. We loved hearing the success stories of everyday employees being able to afford university fees for their children or deposits for houses. We were impressed by the lengths that Joanna Mak and the managers were prepared to go to simplify language and communications.

Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Employee Share Ownership (Less than 1,000 employees) – Optus Singtel 

The delisting of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) on the ASX ordinarily would have resulted in removal of employee shares plans. We were impressed with the lengths that company was prepared to go to ensure that employees remained shareholders.

EOA liked the use of technology to reach their employees resulting in 99.7% of participant acceptance online. This online technology will also be used to help future employee offers to make the sale and vesting process easier.

Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Employee Share Ownership (More than 1,000 employees) – Goodman Group

Goodman employs 1100 permanent staff of which 800 are eligible for the employee share plans on offer, with all the eligible employees participating in them – a 100% take up rate.
Goodman has offered performance rights to all employees since 2009 and on 30 June 2015, the entity had two share based payment schemes, the Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) and the General Tax Exempt Plan (GTEP). In addition, a specific long-term incentive plan exists for Goodman’s employees in New Zealand.

The LTIP is an important element of remuneration as it allows employees to benefit from the Group’s success over the longer term through the issue of Goodman Group securities (or the cash equivalent), depending upon the Group’s performance against specific performance hurdles.  It also encourages employees to remain employed with the Group, and fosters strong alignment of commercial interests with their interests as security holders. Goodman offers phantom plans in countries where securities cannot be delivered. It also provides at the end of each performance period an additional opportunity for all Australian employees to take advantage of the Tax Exempt plan under Division 83A of the ITAA.

EOA was impressed by the participation rate achieved by this company with 100% acceptance, which is incredibly difficult to achieve. In addition we liked the fact that the company had ensured comparative offers worldwide and come up with clever solutions in countries where share offers were not possible.

Best SME/Succession Plan – Culture Amp Pty Ltd

“Employee shares can be a really powerful motivator. Most importantly you’re now an owner, you’re looking at something that is yours when you walk in, and it’s hard to underestimate the power of that especially if you can build that in early” – Culture Amp

Culture Amp is a new Australian tech start-up with 55 employees based in Australia and North America.
Culture Amp has decided to offer share options to all of its staff, but the amount each individual is offered varies according to role, the skills involved, and how early they join the company. The startup is using the common US formula of a four-year vesting period with a one-year cliff, meaning the employees get nothing if they leave in the first year, 25 per cent after one year, and then monthly vesting for the remainder.

The main reason to offer shares is to create a sense of ownership in the company rather than to compete on salary alone.

EOA was impressed that they were one of the first companies to jump on to the new startup policy regime established by the Commonwealth Government in Australia. They did this with enthusiasm and skill matching the US style option plan for their Australian employees.

We liked their philosophy that the main reason to offer shares is to create a sense of ownership in the company rather than to compete on salary.

Our 2016 Sponsor was:

Ernst & Young
680 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia

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