Share plans and the changing workforce

29 March 2019

We’re pleased to have been invited to speak at Deloitte alongside Pat Sims, Lucy Hovland and Anita Grant. Emma will be the fourth panel member for the session taking place on 2 April. They’ll be discussing how we can keep employee share plans relevant as our workforce evolves.

Anita will be throwing some light on how the workforce is changing. Key themes will be how we treat non-employed workers, generational changes in the workforce, diversity and inclusion and the governance requirement for employee voices to be heard.

The gig economy has been a prominent feature of the headlines for a while now, with some viewing it as a flexible working environment whilst others see it as a form of exploitation, with very little workplace protection. There’s a bit of a misconception that the gig economy is all about Deliveroo, Amazon or Uber drivers, but freelancers have been a vital resource to businesses for many years.

As a new generation of workers emerge, we’ll also be looking at how the changing financial priorities of these millennials affect the way we design and communicate share plans to employees. Research seems to show that while younger workers think businesses should focus on their role in society just as much as their profit margin, their experience is that employers often seem to prioritise the bottom line over workers, society and the environment, leaving the new workforce with little sense of loyalty or buy-in.

We’ll consider whether traditional share plans are reinforcing gender inequality. Along with the different attitudes to risk and saving, gender pay gap reporting has shown, a much larger of proportion of part-time workers are females who tend to be paid less and are therefore likely to have a lower disposable income. Do all-employee plans by their very design deter women from participating and reinforce the gap in financial inclusion?

We’ll be considering what impact all of this should have on the way we design plans. Are the old off-the-shelf models still relevant to a modern workforce, especially given the global nature of businesses today? Conversely, should we be worried about catering to one specific group of people? What makes millennials more deserving of our attention and focus than Generations X or Z? If we’re targeting only one group of workers, are we then at risk of excluding everyone else?

All this promises to make for some lively debate, and we can’t wait to hear how Deloitte can help with new plan designs and what ideas they have for giving existing share incentives a face-lift.