Case study: Share incentive plan relaunch boosts take-up at FirstGroup

After relaunching its share incentive plan (Sip) in November 2009, FirstGroup saw overall take-up increase by 38% compared with the previous year. Take-up by staff aged under 30 rose by almost 63%, and now exceeds the rate among older employees.

The relaunch was particularly focused on the under-30s, among whom participation had been traditionally low. Lisa Procter, group reward manager at FirstGroup, says: “Younger colleagues clearly were not engaging as well [with Sip], so we tried targeting them with a punchy, magazine-style launch brochure, while sending a more traditional booklet to over-30s.

“We also encouraged everyone to use the simple, stylish online share modellers we developed with Penkom. The [Sip] modeller clearly shows the impact of investing different amounts, and of tax and national insurance breaks, free shares and share price movements.”

The take-up figures were FirstGroup’s best to date. The scheme was more than 200% oversubscribed and record numbers of staff requested the highest level of savings allowed. All this for £20,000 spent on communications for its 36,000-strong workforce.

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