2012 Award Winners
Visit the EOA website to meet all of the 2012 Award Winners.
At Westpac, employee share ownership is part of its overall commitment to and implementation of its corporate values. These values are defined as working as one team, delighting customers, acting with integrity, achievement and valuing other employees.
The bank’s employee share plan has been in existence for nine years. How many shares that are distributed to employees each year is determined by the bank’s financial performance, the satisfaction levels of its customers, valuing employees and shareholder sentiment towards the bank.
Participation by its employees is now at 87 per cent – demonstrating the success of its strategy to offer the plan to all staff. It has also pioneered online acceptance which has now increased to 100 per cent.
Westpac has also surveyed its staff for their feedback on the plan, a process which drew positive results. It believes the success of its plan has much to do with the fact that it is easy to participate and that the annual process is well known to employees. Employees are allocated shares without employees needing to do anything and it happens annually. Information about the share plan can be viewed on the bank’s intranet. Each employee gets up to $1,000 worth of free shares.
For SMEs, the problem of succession planning becomes acute when the owner retires and has no-one to take over.
In the case of C-Mac Industries in Western Sydney, the move to employee ownership has turned out to be the best business strategy they could possibly have found. As part of their employee buy-out, all but two of its 30 employees bought shares in the business.
The statistics tell the story. Since assuming an employee-owned structure productivity has risen by 18 per cent. The “me” has become the “us”. There are charts in the engineering plant’s lunch room mapping business performance for its employee owners to see.
Fletcher Building in New Zealand puts it this way: your company, your share.
For employees, owning shares in the business they work for “will make it easier for you to own a part of your company and share in its future”.
The benefit to employees of joining the share plan it describes as encouraging all employees to identify with the business. It believes that employee share ownership will encourage a focus on the performance of the Fletcher Building group as a whole in addition to focussing on an employee’s business unit in order to drive an improvement in business performance for the Fletcher Building group. On top of that it aims to increase the proportion of employees who hold shares to help retention of employees and to align the interests of employees with those of Fletcher Building’s shareholders.
The FBuShare plan entitles each of its employees to purchase from after-tax funds shares in the company. For every two shares purchased, one free share is allocated by the company. Dividend payments can be used to purchase more shares. Of its approximately 14,000 eligible employees, 30 per cent took up the offer.
For BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, its employee share plan is all about allowing its employees to share in its success.
“As an employee, you contribute to BHP Billiton every day. Shareplus enables you to share
in the growth we create,” it tells employees in the employee share plan documentation.
Shareplus is the program which allows all full and part-time employees, as well as its contractors, to buy a certain number of shares from their after-tax salary. The program is the same for all employees regardless of position or pay scale.
For every share an employee buys, BHP Billiton will award its employee one share at no cost to its employee.
From its 45,000 direct employees, BHP Billiton had a take-up rate of 46 per cent of its workforce in its Shareplus program in 2012.