2014 Award Winners
1. Best International Plan – WINNER Brambles Limited
Brambles was chosen as the winner for a number of reasons, they have shown continued and prolonged commitment to fostering this plan amongst all of their employees, they have taken an incredible amount of time and effort to simplify and promote the plan and they have ensured that the plan is translated into the language of their employees so it easier for them to understand. Given the nature of the plan and the size and diversity of their population their take up rate of almost 30% is fantastic. Brambles is a supply-chain logistics company operating in more than 50 countries worldwide.
2. Best New Employee Share Plan – WINNER Dick Smith Holdings Limited
Dick Smith have a large retail employee base which also has a large casual workforce, we were impressed by their commitment to offer it to all employees (unrestricted) and to encourage them to keep the shares post listing. If you’re dealing with an employee at any Dick Smith outlet you are likely to be dealing with an owner. Communications were excellent, as 70% of the 2024 eligible employees have taken up the offer to become shareholders. Updates were posted regularly to the Company Intranet homepage “Clouds” throughout the registration period. Personalised emails were broadcast directly to each employee inviting, and reminding them to register their acceptance. The Dick Smith Operations Management Teams were also involved in engaging with each site about the offer and process of accepting.
3. Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Share Ownership (Less than 1,000 employees) – WINNER acQuire Technologies
The Judges decided that given the strength of the acQuire nomination, it should receive the Award in this category. They were extremely impressed by the MD/ founder’s commitment to hand over 51% of the company to his employees and to stand down as MD to allow for succession. They also liked the criteria and training that employees had to undertake to show their commitment to the company before becoming shareholders. They believed that the commitment to the vision of ownership, despite several years of work to create the plan, should be rewarded. Now the plan has commenced it will take some years to transition to full employee ownership.
4. Best Performance in Fostering Long Term Share Ownership (More than 1,000 employees) – WINNER Computershare
From a tight field of five nominations we nominated “Computershare” as the winner, given what its share plan provides to its employees. The judges particularly liked that employees actually have to contribute to get the company shares and the fact that the participation rates were so high at almost 40% for its 14,000 employee base. The judges also liked the company’s commitment to improving the offer process and plan design to meet their employees’ needs and the high level of employee involvement in company affairs.
5. Best SME/Succession Plan – WINNER acQuire Technologies
As well dedicating the award for Fostering Long Term Share Ownership with less than 1,000 Employees, the judges decided acQuire was the most outstanding for its “vision” with regard to its long term strategy for broadening ownership and buying out the founders under their succession plan, despite the difficulties with legislation and regulatory burdens. Acquire is a technology company that has found a way to break through these barriers.
6. Most Effective and Innovative Communications Program – WINNER TELSTRA
This was also a tight race but we decided that Telstra was the better nomination based on the quality of its submission, the extent of its employee engagement and the number of employees that are involved. The nature and variety of their communication tools was noted by the judges as a key to their winning this award. Their participation rate of 90% across more than 30,000 employees was seen as outstanding and a testament to the work they have done around communications.
However, an “honourable mention” should also be provided to Fletcher Building which has excellent material and operates a very useful/innovative, separate web-site for its “employee share scheme”