The employee benefits provider, Futuremedia, is launching a share incentive plan (Sip) for its staff.
The scheme, which is being introduced this month and is open to all employees, will run alongside the company’s existing enterprise management incentive (EMI) scheme which awards shares to all staff.
Employees who opt in to the Sip will receive one free share for every two they buy out of their own salary. Len Fertig, Futuremedia’s chief executive officer, believes the scheme will benefit the organisation in two ways.
"First of all, industry experience has shown that employee ownership is one of the most advantageous ways to improve the culture of a company and get everyone thinking like an owner and increase teamwork. Also, there is obviously another motive, which is that it helps with employee retention to some extent. The longer [employees] stay on, the more valuable these benefits become," he said.
Fertig has no figures for the number of staff expected to opt in to the Sip, but said a recent company survey showed interest was high.
He added that as a relatively small employer with around 75 employees, Futuremedia was proving that benefits such as employee share schemes worked just as well for small- and medium-sized businesses as for larger companies.
"If anything [these types of benefits plans] have a greater [direct] effect [on the share price] when they are employed in smaller organisations," he added.