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EQ SHAREHOLDER SERVICES' CASE STUDY  |  EASYJET EMPLOYEE SHARE PLANS

Increasing accessible digital engagement with employees.

Integrating an outstanding microsite and app to drive up SAYE sign-ups.

 

The Challenge

Engaging A Large And Mobile Workforce With Their Employee Share Ownership Options

easyJet is a low-cost European airline and one of the largest European airlines with a workforce of around 17,000. Much of this workforce (around 90%) perform flight and ground operations with the remainder performing administrative and managerial roles.

A key component of easyJet’s reward philosophy is to provide share ownership opportunities for employees. The company operates both SIP (Buy As You Earn/BAYE) and SAYE.

The airline sector has traditionally been seen as a difficult sector for promoting employee share plans. Despite this, the easyJet SAYE – an established plan – had proven highly popular. Yet, it was felt that greater engagement could be achieved with new starters to the business, and more generally amongst existing employees too.

The overall challenge was to maintain, if not increase, participation rates. This was a real challenge as it was at a time when living costs were quickly rising.


 

The Solution

To encourage engagement, and raise the profile of employee share ownership further, a dedicated all employee share plan microsite was created and shared with employees.

The Microsite: A Hub For All Employee Share Ownership Information

To support engagement, uptake and useability, the existing microsite was refined to become a permanent information hub. Through its development, it now provides simple and clear informational guidance for colleagues. Employees can now make easily informed decisions relating to their all-employee share plans.

The microsite now caters for multi-products (SAYE/BAYE) and multiple phases (invitation/maturity) of these plans. As a self-service digital reference point, the microsite is always there to get the latest updates and information on the share plans available to them. The development of the microsite supports and aligns with an electronic product communication strategy, promoting digital submissions via the microsite and the app too.


easyJet understood that an app was the next logical (and critical) step towards encouraging further engagement with employees.


 

The App: Only An Outstanding Interface And Functionality Would Do

EQ worked alongside easyJet to ensure the app was best suited to their business; with the ability to meet the various needs of their employee shareholder base.

It was to enable their diverse workforce, many of them travelling internationally, to access clear information on the SAYE, and sign-up, wherever they happened to be. The app launch was promoted as part of the SAYE UK 2023 scheme.


Aligning The App’s Content And User Journey With All Other Channels

With so many easyJet colleagues travelling internationally, the app was required to deliver a seamless and secure transactional experience, providing easyJet colleagues with an easy and direct route to engage with SAYE and BAYE, regardless of their immediate location.

The simple navigation and features proved to be very successful. And the clear content and tone used for the app were closely matched with that of the microsite. Both shared a strong design, and visual qualities that have long been a part of easyJet’s success in the travel world.

Fully integrated with easyJet’s other comms and channels, the app was to provide clarity and consistency of messaging across all comms from the app and microsite to posters, mailers, and internal branding.


App notifications, a key feature within the app, now enables the sending of important direct engagement communications to easyJet colleagues. This ensures colleagues do not miss key activity dates which, in turn, helps drive up participation.

 

 

In 2023, with the upgrade of the microsite and launch of the app, the internal communications plan included additional activities that underlined the importance of rolling out technology with a human touch.


 

An Integrated Approach: Engaging All Employees

Every year at easyJet an internal share plans communication plan is implemented. Early engagement was identified as a crucial factor within the campaign, allowing for effective message development, audience understanding and strategic planning. Providing the opportunity to look at the different employee groups to ensure they can both communicate effectively and provide the level of information, through a mix of application and communication channels. The aim of the communications is to increase understanding of share plans, boost engagement, and help encourage interest in share-ownership amongst employees. In 2023 successful aspects of the communications plan included:

Lunch and Learn

These events run for Management & Admin Teams gave those interested in the easyJet share plan the chance to understand what it is and the benefits it can bring. The feedback from this initiative was that it greatly increased the preparedness of colleagues to engage with the scheme because they could see how it worked, what the value was to them, and how to access it using the app or the microsite.


Encouraging Colleague Input

easyJet’s culture of reaching out to colleagues in advance was also key to the success of the campaign. Any feedback about the SAYE plan was gratefully received. And, together with feedback from the Lunch and Learn events, this input helped to shape the content, tone, and design of the 2023 campaign.


Allowing A Preferred Contact Email

With many solely accessing their information via their mobile phone, it was important that the organisation were communicating to email addresses that were being checking regularly. For instance, many colleagues preferred to be contacted via a personal email address rather than their easyJet email address.


 

Direct Mailer For Those On Long-Term Absence

To achieve accessibility and awareness, colleagues on long-term absence were contacted via a direct mailer in the post.


Post-Launch Comms

For the first time, easyJet sent a post launch email, thanking everyone for participating, and providing helpful information to those who missed out. Soon after circulation, they saw a further spike in colleagues downloading the app.



The Result



New joiners have always been more difficult to reach. The fresh approach taken has delivered significant progress in that area, with a 21% sign-up rate.


Increased Sign-Up And Strengthened Digital-First Employee Share Plan Journeys

The introduction of the EQ Share Plans App to colleagues was a great success. In addition to boosting sign-ups, particularly with new joiners, the functionality of the app had a positive impact on user experience. Since the app’s launch, there have been over 3,800 ‘in-app’ visits to its enquiry screens. The team worked to a tight schedule and was demanding for everyone involved. But the app was delivered on time, and functionality and design were outstanding. Everything that could be needed is on the app and the microsite. Paper correspondence is no longer needed, which is a real win for everyone.

Very little feedback has been received regarding any difficulties logging on or accessing information. But if a member of employees does have any questions, challenges or concerns, help is readily available. Content is comprehensive, clear, and easy to understand. By ensuring consistency across channels, and throughout the campaign, support calls have dropped by 49% while email queries fell by 69%. Everything needed was on the app and the microsite but, if they did have any questions, challenges or concerns, help was readily available.


Information hub

To support engagement, uptake and useability, the existing microsite was refined to not only make it a permanent information hub but provide simple and clear informational guidance for colleagues to make easy informed decisions relating to their all-employee share plans.

The microsite’s evergreen availability provides easyJet colleagues with a centralised self-service digital reference point, reducing the need for paper communications with the exception of the direct mailer for those on long-term absence and helping to complement and support an electronic product communication strategy, promoting digital submissions through the new app and via the online website.

The microsite not only now caters for multi-products (SAYE/BAYE) but also multiple phases (invitation/maturity) of these plans, providing our colleagues with a central digital hub that’s always available to obtain the latest updates and information on those employee benefits available to them.



Of all our SAYE campaigns to date, this was the most comprehensive in terms of truly encompassing our entire workforce. We provided convenient channels for everyone to find what they needed in one place, with clear signposting as to what they needed to do next, while embracing the best possible use of technology. easyJet exists to make our customers’ lives easier and, with our 2023 SAYE launch, we were pleased to share that powerful simplicity with our colleagues."

Lisa Tsavalos, Senior Reward Manager, easyJet

For further information please visit our Employee Share Plans page or get in touch to find out how we can help and support you.

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