Steel, mining and vanadium business Evraz offers employee share plans to its 105,000 employees in Russia, Ukraine, the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, South Africa and Kazakhstan.
In Russia, the organisation has offered a long-term incentive plan (L-tip), administered by Computershare, since 2012. Employees are able to access details of their plan through an online portal and trade through a broker in real time, with proceeds being paid into their local account in their chosen currency within five working days. The process is assisted by the use of an automated payment system that is tailored to the local banks’ requirements.
Across all eight countries in which Evraz operates, information about the share plan portal is provided for employees in the local language. Staff also gave access to a native-speaking client relationship manager to help with their enquiries.
When implementing its schemes understanding local cultures and practices was essential. For example, in Russia there was a far more ingrained distrust of internet-based services. Therefore, Evraz has to reflect this in the way it operates its share plan, and the way it talks about it to employees.
Its uses a range of communication methods through the share plans portal, direct post or email to help to foster a relationship between employee and employer, which can lead to a wider understanding of the plan as members share their experiences with colleagues.
Evraz also had to overcome a number of legislative challenges to introduce a share plan in Russia’s emerging market. Marat Murtazin, head of the incentive programmes department at Evraz, says: “The main difficulty was the difference in taxation so we studied and reviewed it carefully with the help of consultants.
“[We needed] to take into account local practices but still try to keep an original concept of the programme. I think that’s why we were able to make a success of it.”