Europcar Mobility Group houses 12,000 employees globally, with 2,400 in the UK alone. Having gone through a period of rapid growth following various acquisitions, the organisation decided to give employees the opportunity to benefit from the transformation and success it was working towards.
In May 2019, the employer launched its new share ownership plan, We Share 2019, for employees of Europcar Group across the 16 countries in which it operates. This followed on from a previous share plan, which started in early 2017 and led to 1.32% of the business being owned by employees.
Matthew Rodgers, HR director at Europcar Mobility Group, says: “We wanted to have this new share plan on offer to bring in all of those new employees across the group, and really to give our [staff] the opportunity to invest in the [business], with some favourable terms attached. Because the group is transforming, it’s the right opportunity to bring people in now, in terms of engaging them in the ambition to be the preferred mobility service [provider].”
Employees can choose one or both of two offers, both of which include matched contributions and a discount on the initial purchase price of the shares. The ‘classic’ offer will simply be valued on the share price at the end of the term, while the ‘leveraged’ plan provides a guarantee of the initial investment and employer contribution.
Providing employees with the chance to choose a plan that suits their investment appetite is part of the approach to engaging them with the share scheme, which in turn aims to align staff with wider business objectives.
“We do a lot to bring people along on the journey,” says Rodgers. “This is a way of engaging people in the business goals, so that they can have some positive reward [based] on the success of the business. They are buying into the group that they work for, and in doing that, we want them to be on that transformation journey as well, and [share in] the success that we believe that journey will deliver.”
The launch of the share plan has been communicated to employees using presentations, conference calls, email campaigns, letters sent via the post and information on Europcar’s intranet.
In addition, the organisation has a website dedicated to the share plan, on which it posts information and video content. These videos include an introduction from the chief executive officer, demonstrating senior buy-in and explaining the importance of the initiative.
“We want to ensure that [employees] have the information, which is why we looked at quite a diverse communications plan,” explains Rodgers. “One of the aims is to make sure all of our employees are included, whether they’ve got a laptop, or whether they’re road-based.”
For this reason, Europcar also wanted to make the terms of the plan as simple as possible; it is subject to only limited qualifications, namely that the employee has at least three months’ service, as well as being employed over a specific date.
The initiative fits with Europcar’s wider approach to linking employee reward with business objectives, which most notably includes a direct link to customer service and net promoter metrics in all bonus schemes within the UK.