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KIER CASE STUDY | 18/04/2023


Bringing share plan benefits to all Kier employees


Kier is one of the UK’s leading providers of infrastructure services, construction, and property development, with a values-driven emphasis on environmental and social sustainability. Within this context, the organisation is keen to extend the benefits of its share plan to all of its workforce. EQ was asked to work closely with Kier on the strategy to achieve this, and the rollout of both high-tech and traditional solutions supported by consistent communications across a diverse workforce, many of whom are offline.



Around half of Kier’s 9,500 employees are offline, often working outdoors during non-standard hours, such as roads maintenance teams working at night. A communications strategy that relies purely on emails would leave many of these colleagues out in the cold regarding the benefits of the company share plan. Our challenge with Kier was to give every employee the opportunity and information required to explore their Sharesave options, despite the hurdles in reaching out and engaging with them.


There were three key elements to our solution: accessibility, consistency, and inclusion. And while the overall approach typified our advocacy of transformative technology, the campaign was strengthened further by traditional methods such as employee roadshows, team briefings, a brochure, a printed letter and email and intranet communications. The intention was to provide every employee, wherever they were working, with the best possible opportunity of learning what they stood to gain from the employee share scheme.

With mobile phone users in the UK spending an average of four hours on their device per day (Statista 2021), we knew that a key part of the accessibility strategy had to be a mobile phone app, created by EQ. The app provides Kier with thoroughly tested technology built according to best practice in terms of share plans and user experience, while enabling them to integrate their branding, which provides a stronger connection with employees.

It's also the only app available that allows individuals to register fully via the app without having to access the employee portal, significantly encouraging take-up for this sort of audience. The app provides employees with everything they need to manage and monitor their share plan, wherever and whenever they want to.

The microsite is another innovative element of the accessibility mix. All employees can access the content on the microsite without having to sign up or log in – working closely with Kier, we wanted to remove as many barriers to interest as possible. And the microsite calculator, which enables employees to explore the potential returns they might make in relation to fluctuations in the share price, has proved very popular.

But as important as the app and microsite were, they were two elements of an integrated communications plan designed to meet the needs of all Kier employees – the aim was to cater for everyone’s preferences, in terms of how they like to access information and how detailed they want it to be.

It was important to us that all aspects of the campaign looked like part of the same family in terms of consistency of design, imagery, fonts, and tone of language. That made everything instantly recognisable and relatable to the share plan. And we ensured that the language and level of detail was straightforward enough for a worker outdoors to browse on their phone during a break, while also offering deeper dive options for those wanting more detail.

The third strong driver of the strategy was inclusion and the opportunity to create a sense of community around Sharesave, encouraging open and positive conversations throughout the business. We worked hard with Kier to ensure that all content was relevant and appealing to a diverse workforce.

It was also important to make the registration process as easy and simple as possible to encourage employees who might otherwise have been deterred. For instance, the printed materials included QR codes that took people directly to the website or the app. We also supported Kier with their ‘stand-down’ days, which bring all employees working on a particular contract together and provide an excellent opportunity to talk to large groups directly about Sharesave. A five-minute conversation explaining the benefits to an employee was often followed by them scanning the QR code and downloading the app.


The results have already proved outstanding. Despite the financial pressures faced by many of Kier’s employees as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, share plan take-up increased from 20% in 2021 to 21% in 2022 – 1,983 applicants out of the 9,555 who were eligible. This is a big step up from Kier’s historic take-up levels, which traditionally sat at around 15%. And of the total applications received, 581 (29%) were new to Sharesave.


By placing a ground-breaking app at the heart of Kier’s integrated share plan strategy, the business was also highly successful in driving up applications among hard-to-reach employees. Indeed, of the 581 new starters, 115 (20%) were from Kier’s lowest two pay grades.

Kier Case Study Umbraco3

I was able to download the app and apply to join Sharesave 2022 whilst on the train. It was a really quick and simple process. I like how the app is Kier-branded and gives me instant access to my Kier share plans.”

Andy, Kier employee


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