Why communication is still key when it comes to sharesave

YBS Share Plans (YBSSP) recently conducted a survey of its sharesave participants in conjunction with Professors Andrew Pendleton and Andrew Robinson of Durham and Leeds University Business Schools.

“Through the survey we hoped to learn a little more about participant understanding of the plan and the communications they receive. As a major provider in this market we’re always looking for ways we can improve plan documentation, to help increase levels of engagement and understanding and to make it easier for employees to make the right decisions” says Martin Nellist, YBSSP client experience manager.


The survey presented participants with a number of questions that explored the effectiveness of the sharesave communications they receive. How much of it do they read and more importantly how much of it do they understand. Here’s what we learnt:-

Key findings:

There is a high understanding of sharesave communications

Overall, most participants have a high level of understanding of sharesave communications. 85% of Sharesave participants confirmed they understand most or all of the communications sent to them, and 74% read most or all of them (leaving a significant minority that read little or none of the information).

But financial education is key

Financial education affects the level of understanding and propensity to read sharesave communications. There is a modest but statistically significant difference between those who have received financial education, and those that have not, with the former reading a greater proportion of the communications.

Greater understanding equals greater take-up

Greater understanding of sharesave communications correlated with higher sharesave subscriptions and with a higher likelihood that the participant will exercise the option to purchase shares at the end of the plan (rather than walking away with the savings in cash). Greater understanding appears to result in greater confidence in the plan and better decision making.

“The findings from the survey show interesting variances across our various client populations which clearly demonstrate the importance of knowing your audience and that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach is never likely to succeed," says Martin.

"More importantly the results show us that if the communication isn’t sympathetic to the audience they are much less likely to read it and will generally demonstrate a lower level of understanding which could in turn lead to poor decision making. ‘On point’ Sharesave communication is key to unlocking understanding and engagement ensuring our clients achieve the best return on their investment in this valued employee benefit,” continued Martin.

This article was provided YBS Share Plans.

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