Springfield Properties (AIM: SPR), a leading housebuilder in Scotland offering private and affordable housing, has won Best New Share Plan at this year’s ProShare Awards, which recognise and reward innovation and excellence within the share plan industry.
The Best New Share Plan award recognises newly-launched employee share plans that are designed to link clearly with business objectives. It must also be effectively communicated and have a simple process to encourage employee participation, resulting in strong levels of uptake. In particular, the judges were impressed with Springfield’s above-average take-up, especially that this level of engagement was achieved in a working environment where the majority of the workforce is deployed outdoors over multiple sites and that it included a very high take-up amongst both younger and female employees.
At the time of the Company’s IPO on AIM in October 2017, Springfield launched an employee Save As You Earn scheme through YBS Share Plans, part of Yorkshire Building Society (YBS). The sharesave scheme offered every employee the option to save £5 to £500 a month over a three-year period and, at the end of the period, employees are able to use those savings to purchase shares in the Company at a 20% discount to the price at which the Company floated.
Springfield implemented a multi-pronged engagement campaign to raise awareness of the scheme and its benefits with employees. As a result, 333 employees (69% of the workforce – from all parts of the Company) joined the scheme, with average savings of £221.41 per month and a large number of employees opting to save the full monthly amount.
ProShare is a not-for-profit member organisation that aims to foster responsible employee share ownership on terms favourable to companies and their employees through engagement with policymakers, companies, advisers and service providers and driving awareness.
Ashley Price, Head of YBS Share Plans, said: “I was thrilled to see Springfield Properties plc rewarded for the launch of their Sharesave scheme at the 2018 ProShare Awards winning the ‘Best New Share Plan’ category. The communication and engagement put in place resulted in truly remarkable participation rates across all age bands and genders, and we have been delighted to support Springfield and see so many of their employees see the value of employee share ownership.”
Innes Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Springfield, added: “Looking after our employees is a strong part of the Springfield ethos. We have a skilled and hardworking team who are responsible for what Springfield achieves, and we wanted to provide them with an opportunity to be more directly invested in, and benefit from, the future success of the business. It was also important to us that the scheme was inclusive and accessible across our diverse workforce.
“We are really pleased with the uptake of the programme, which at 69% is well above average for this type of scheme within our industry, and that employees from all parts of the business have chosen to take part – from our apprentices to trades people through to salaried employees and senior management – across all age bands. We are delighted that the success of this scheme has been recognised by the ProShare Awards, and we look forward to continuing to grow our company for the benefit of all our employees and other shareholders.”