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Case Study: Delivering an award winning Sharesave communication programme for Ceres Power

Ceres Power embarked on a journey to encourage even greater employee participation in its Sharesave scheme and ensure that an increasing number of new employees understood the benefits of the plan, resulting in an award-winning, rebranded communication campaign and an increase in employee engagement. 


Key Highlights

  • Ceres Power delivers multi-award-winning SAYE Plan
  • Winners of a Stars Award at the ESOP Awards
  • 2021 ProShare Award winner – Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan: Up to 500 employees
  • Sharesave participation grows by 5% following a communication campaign
  • Employees are now saving on average £20 more per month
  • EQ supports communication plan rebrand to boost employee engagement

About Ceres Sharesave

Ceres Power is a fuel cell technology and engineering company whose aim is to bring cleaner and cheaper energy to businesses, homes and vehicles. They work with world-leading partners to embed our technology in mass-market energy products for the commercial, residential and transportation markets.

A Strategy To Drive Engagement And Success

Ceres Power places its people at the heart of its technology and success, with employee engagement playing a critical role in attracting and retaining the highest calibre of employees. To aid this, Ceres aim to provide employees with a rewarding place to work in every sense.

A vital element of this is offering share options through an annual invitation under a UK tax-advantaged Sharesave plan for over ten years. With an exercise price calculated using the full 20% discount, Ceres employees value the plan, and many employees now participate.

Ceres' objectives were to encourage even greater employee participation and ensure that an increasing number of new employees understood the benefits of the plan, which supported them to make an informed decision about whether to join and, importantly, not miss out.

An Enhanced Communications Programme

Before launching their 2021 Sharesave plan, Equiniti supported Ceres in reviewing participation levels. The results were positive, with 69% of employees participating with average savings of £317 per month – both of these figures are well above the industry average figures of 39% (based on EQ data). Take-up among new employees joining for the first time sat at 36%.

Ceres were keen to encourage even more employees to join and ensure an ever-increasing number of new employers were clear on the benefits of the plan.

Following an audit of Sharesave documentation, the decision was taken to design a new Sharesave communication programme to change the design to reflect the vibrant culture at Ceres.

Equiniti's in-house Creative team provided Ceres with several concepts designed to bring Ceres' culture to the fore.

NEW Ceres Image 1
NEW Ceres Image 3

Multi-Award Winning Scheme

Following the launch of the rebranded Sharesave scheme, EQ supported Ceres in conducting further analysis of the scheme's performance, with the results demonstrating the rebrand's success.

As well as meeting its objectives of boosting employee participation among existing and new employees, Ceres Power's Sharesave SAYE plan was recognised in industry awards, winning a ProShare award for Most Effective Commination of an Employee Share Plan: Up to 500 employees, and a Stars Award at the 2022 ESOP Awards, presented at the ESOP Conference in April 2022.

Key Results

Overall participation grew from 69% to 74% of eligible participants – 5% Growth

Employees joining Sharesave for the first time rose by 27% - from 36% to an impressive 63%

Female participation grew by 13% - 73% vs. 60% (average savings increased from £287 to £331)

Average savings increased from £317 per month to £337 per month - employees are saving on average £20 more per month

Male participation grew by 4% - 74% vs 70% (average savings increased from £322 to £335)

As well as a Sharesave rebrand, EQ has introduced webinars and live Q&A sessions with Ceres employees, to share information about Sharesave and employee share plans in general and address any questions, with plans in place to introduce a maturity brochure to help with financial wellbeing.

Ceres' communication programme review with the resulting rebrand and redesign of documents, placing emphasis on employees and how they can benefit, and the inclusion of a Sharesave interactive calculator has generated positive feedback. The plan invitation was effectively communicated (passing the Einstein test to explain it!), creating a real buzz, and helping us to increase take-up, especially amongst our new joiners.

Delivering For You And Your Employees 

We are on hand to support you and ensure the successful management of every aspect of your share plan, from launch right through to maturity.

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