Asda has made its sharesave scheme an integral part of its reward strategy in order to boost take-up.
Simon Bell, senior reward manager at the supermarket behemoth, explains: “Our sharesave scheme plays a key part of our reward strategy and we openly encourage participation throughout our organisation from hourly-paid and salaried colleagues to board members.”
Before designing its 2014 sharesave campaign, Asda carried out face-to-face research with a broad section of employees to test their understanding of the company’s share plan and how effective they find the communication.
“One of the clear messages we received was that now our business is diversifying, colleagues have a strong affinity with their part of the company and want to see things that are familiar and relevant to them reflected in our communications material, even down to the uniforms that [employees] wear,” says Bell.
“Our material needed to be representative in order to encourage participation across the board. They also told us that they frequently make decisions based upon endorsements by their peers. This meant drawing on real-life examples and anecdotes from [employees] in each part of the business to better reflect the experience of their peer group.”
One of the main challenges is to successfully connect with all of the 170,000 colleagues. This year, Asda used a blend of tried-and-tested methods as well as new approaches. “Of paramount importance was the use of clear, simple language and strong visuals to make the subject matter easy to understand and readily accessible to every [employee],” explains Bell. “Our 2014 sharesave plan take-up increased by 8.6% on the previous year.”
After reviewing enrolment methods to make it easier for staff members to participate, this year 77% of Asda employees enrolled using SMS text compared with 23% joining online.
Bell says that Asda’s key tips for sharesave success are to create clear, simple and relevant communication and to create a brand. “Ours is the sharesave Asda piggy bank that appears in all our communications,” he says.
Making sign-up as straightforward as possible is also key.