Case study: Wolfson switches staff on to sharesave

When Wolfson Microelectronics launched its first sharesave scheme this August, it used a variety of communication strategies.

Face-to-face briefings were conducted with Ernst and Young and Yorkshire Building Society (YBS). Issy Urquhart, vice-president of human resources at Wolfson, says: “All UK employees were invited to attend a briefing session and we had outstanding attendance. 

“We were delighted to welcome the YBS advisers to these briefings as it meant our employees had face-to-face access with the experts, something we knew our staff would really value.”

Wolfson’s strategy included: a dedicated intranet site carrying a sound and PowerPoint recording of the briefings sessions and frequently asked questions, updated daily; an email countdown over the last week of the invitation period; reminders on payslips over the months leading up to the invitation period; regularly updated posters throughout the UK offices; a YBS phone helpline; and drop-in sessions during July and August.

“Wolfson is a high-tech company employing IT-literate employees, all of whom have access to a personal computer,” says Urquhart. “Therefore we decided to use web or telephone participation methods rather than paper. Feedback from participants has indicated how easy both application routes were. We know employees shared information on the ease of application with each other and I am sure this contributed to the high take-up rate.”

The three-year share plan had 60% take-up among Wolfson’s 358 UK employees. Monthly savings average £151, with 46% of employees saving between £200 and £250 a month.

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