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Innovation the key to making SSP’s share plan a success

SSP share plan header

SSP’s share plan window was fast approaching. They were keen to increase engagement with this valuable employee benefit, but they faced many challenges and time was short. So they approached us for help.

SSP are the food travel experts. They operate over 2,600 branded food and beverage units in airports and train stations across 35 countries.

Some brands are SSP-owned, like Upper Crust and Ritazza, and some units are franchised for brands including Starbucks, Burger King and Leon.

SSP online brochure

The challenge

SSP’s offer to employees is a Share Incentive Plan, which gives them the chance to buy up to £150 worth of shares each month from their pre-tax salary, and get free shares from SSP too.

Although the plan is generous, take-up rates in previous years had left room for improvement. SSP asked us to inject some creativity, and above all, to make sure the plan was explained in a way that was engaging and easy-to-understand.

SSP’s employees are spread across thousands of locations. Some are office-based, but the majority work in the company’s outlets. So reaching everyone would prove tricky.

The company wanted to trail the plan at their all-employee roadshow a couple of weeks prior to the launch. The snag was that this gave us less than two weeks to create a concept and produce assets for the event.

But at RewardPointZero we love a challenge…

ssp poster

Our approach

Our first task was to think about the roadshow. SSP were keen to avoid paper where possible, so we decided to produce a digital flyer accessible via a QR code on a pull-up banner.

But first we’d need a creative concept to flow across the entire campaign. Given SSP’s line of business, we decided to use food imagery and metaphors to get the message across, leading us to strap-lines such as “owning a slice of SSP, it’s a piece of cake” and “looking after your future never tasted so good”.

The roadshow was a success with plenty of interest in the scheme from a broad cross-section of employees. Onto the assets we’d need for launch…

A brochure formed the main hub of information, supported by a suite of emails, posters and flyers, all designed in SSP’s brand and written in their approachable tone of voice.

We also developed an online calculator, so employees could work out their individual tax savings. And finally we produced a toolkit, so managers could work with their teams to make sure they understood the plan.

By using a variety of channels we made sure the message reached all employees, wherever they worked – this helped us make the plan as inclusive as possible.

SSP emails
SSP manager training
SSP flyer

The results

SSP saw an increase of more than 200% in new participants joining the plan versus last year’s window. Half of these new participants had opportunities to join in previous years, so it’s clear the way the plan was communicated really made a difference.

The overall number of employees who joined was up more than 30% on last year, and the average contribution amount rose too.

It’s been great to create some amazing material and RewardPointZero have been a fantastic partner to work with. Being available and guiding us through what is best practice, and the deliverables have had so many compliments! The key to these results was the simplicity of the language used, and RPZ got our tone of voice spot on too. We couldn’t have got these results without all the hard work from you and the team so thank you!”

Got a project? Let’s talk

If you’d like some help with your share plan communications, we’d love to chat.