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Only 10% of businesses in the South East offer share schemes to all employees – Vestd

By Karolina Skinner
31 August 2021

More than half of the companies in the South East (56%) offer a share scheme to their employees, but only one in ten makes such a benefit available to their whole team. Most prefer to offer shares only to their executives, according to research by UK share scheme platform, Vestd.

9% of UK employees expect to receive shares as part of the package when joining a new company. However, the South East sits firmy at 12% in terms of employee expectations for shares in the remuneration package, this being the highest percentage of any region in the UK. The lowest percentage of employees expecting shares in the company is in the East Midlands, with 4%. Vestd surveyed over 5,000 people, including customers, senior leaders and managers, and general UK employees.

Why employees in the South East believe share schemes are important:

  1. 34% see that share schemes can help companies to retain key talent;
  2. 27% think that share schemes can help to create and maintain a great sense of ‘team’;
  3. 21% believe that share schemes increase productivity.

Thousands of businesses have started their own share schemes over the past decade, and according to newly released Government figures, the figure is up 77% from 2010.

“When you give somebody a slice of the pie, you’ll also be unlocking a psychological driver known as the ‘ownership effect’. By having ownership of something, people become determined to see that thing succeed. They make better decisions, become more competitive against the rest of the market and become more aligned as a team in order to reach their goals,” said Ifty Nasir (pictured), Founder and CEO of Vestd.

“It is something of a magic bullet and we’ve seen dramatic company turnarounds on the basis of introducing a scheme like EMI (the UK’s most popular scheme). It’s also incredibly tax efficient so there are multiple layers of benefits for businesses to enjoy.”

Vestd focused on three main areas (retention, recruitment and growth) and found that:

  • A quarter of businesses looking to start a share scheme do so with the ambition of improving employee recruitment. Of those with existing share schemes, 93% confirm that sharing ownership has helped with their recruitment efforts. 
  • Nearly half of those looking for a share scheme do so with the ambition of boosting retention. Of those with existing schemes, 95% agree that their share scheme has actively helped to improve employee loyalty. 
  • More than nine out of ten senior leaders said their share scheme has helped their companies to grow and develop. 56% of survey respondents also said sharing that ownership has increased productivity. In addition to this, the Cass/Manchester University study demonstrated that companies that shared ownership posted growth of 10.2% vs the 7.7% UK average over the same period. 

About Vestd

Vestd is a share scheme platform for UK SMEs. Founders (and other professionals) use it to design, launch and manage share and option schemes.