Last updateThu, 30 Nov 2023 2pm

New Research Confirms the Benefits Of Employee Share Plans

Employees who take part in a company share plan take less absence, are less likely to leave the firm, and work longer hours; as well as being more satisfied with their jobs.

Research from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and London School of Economics (LSE), commissioned by Computershare (ASX: CPU), the largest global provider of employee share plans, shows how offering a plan can make a significant difference to workforce performance.

In the research, a majority of share plan members thought share plan membership increased their motivation, reduced the likelihood they would leave the firm and made it more likely that they would recommend the company to others.

The research was conducted by senior research professionals at NIESR and LSE over six months across nine countries (UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany and South Africa). It surveyed over 3,800 Computershare staff and evaluated their perceptions and resulting behavioural actions, whether or not they were in a company share plan.

Headline results include findings that compared to similar non-members, plan members:

  • Are less likely to quit the firm
  • Take less absence
  • Work longer hours
  • Are more satisfied with their jobs
  • and are more committed to the firm.

Although it is difficult to establish categorically whether the link between plan membership and productive behaviours is a causal one, a majority of members said that membership increased their motivation. The research also highlighted other benefits of having a well-designed share plan in your benefits package:

36% of respondents said that a share plan was likely to attract talented people to the Company
43% of respondents said that the share plan made it more likely they'd recommend the firm to others, with the effect much higher for members (55%) versus non-members (34%)

"Although there are signs that the economy is picking up; it remains vital for companies to understand whether the money they're investing in employee reward and engagement is giving them measurable benefit. For firms looking to attract or incentivise talented people, this research indicates that an effective share plan can be a key tool in the overall benefit package", said Martyn Drake, Managing Director at Computershare.

Alex Bryson and John Forth, the researchers who undertook the study said: "Although this study does not provide definitive evidence of a causal link between share plan membership and worker productivity, the findings do point in that direction.  What's more, employees themselves maintain that there is a causal link between being in the plan, the way they behave, and how they feel about the firm.  This is in line with research we and others have undertaken in the past".


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