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Tomorrow's workforce, today: Changing attitudes with employee share plans

30 November 2015

Earlier this year, we commissioned a UK study of employees to gain insight into financial behaviours of the workforce

As the UK economy sees itself moving tentatively back into growth after the financial crises of 2008, many business leaders will be now conscious of the scarcity of skilled labour and the major challenges it presents to their future business strategies.

The job market of today is highly fluid and fast-paced, enabling talented employees to change companies, locations, and even careers, more frequently and easily. The cornerstones of recruitment strategies, such as salary increases and promotions, may not always be enough to ensure an employee’s loyalty. Even the more modern, and sometimes outlandish, strategies such as unlimited holiday and sleeping pods at work cannot help to encourage the loyalty needed to retain top talent within a company.

Nicola Pattimore, HR Director at Equiniti, says:

“Whenever an employee is promoted or moves company they leave behind a skills gap that needs to be filled. It’s difficult to pin down the exact cost of replacing a good, experienced employee but estimates range from 1.5x to 3x salary, so hanging on to talent and motivating them in the right way is a commercially vital part of HR strategy”

Our study looked to assess the impact that the introduction of an employee share scheme could have on a company’s workforce and the attitudes towards their employer.

The results showed us that employees are increasingly looking for a long-term financial plan and a sense of involvement in the business, with 50% of respondents saying they would change their current attitude to their employer as a result of being offered a share scheme at work. Specifically, of that 50%, 30% said they would be more likely to commit to their employer for the long term, 32% would proactively look for opportunities to grow the business and 46% would take greater interest in the company.

Phil Ainsley, Managing Director of Employee Services at Equiniti, commented:

“It is vital for companies to be engaging their workforce and retaining the best talent in order to grow and benefit from the economic upturn. Share schemes are currently under-utilised across all industry sectors and what this research shows is that share schemes can have a hugely positive impact on the way employees view their employers and how involved they are with the company and its future. This can only be good for corporate growth and individuals alike. What’s even more positive is the influence it has on the younger generation of workers, which are notoriously hard to engage as the growing trend is to move from job to job.”

Watch our film about this research, also found below.