2012 ESOP Of The Year Awards

Our Awards Night

Every year Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand celebrates companies that show excellence in employee engagement and ownership. The 2012 Awards Ceremony and Dinner took place at the Sofitel, Melbourne on 10 May 2012, during the Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand Inaugural Conference.

Meet the Award Winners

Most Effective and Innovative Communications Program

Yum Restaurants were awarded this prize because they were pitching to a group of people who would not naturally be share owners of the business. The communications plan was directed particularly to catch the attention of young staff who will be their future leaders and potential future owners in the business and this was particularly impressive for us.


Best New Employee Share Plan

Fletcher Building were chosen for the award because it had clearly documented in its materials and in the presentation the elements of its scheme. The judges particularly liked the honesty of the presentation where it talked about what’s in it for the employee but next that to it said what is in it for the Company. They were also very pleased to see that the plan was targeted at broad based employee share ownership.


Best Performance in Fostering Share ownership (less than 1,000 employees)

Peabody deserved this award because of their commitment to encouraging share ownership in a group of employee that wouldn’t normally be owners.  This commitment was clearly demonstrated by the years of engagement and improvement in the plan.


Best Performance in Fostering Share ownership (more than 1,000 employees)

Westpac Group

There was tough competition for this award and there were some very good entries from big companies with high participation. Westpac’s scheme particularly addressed those employees not eligible for another award scheme.  It is also intended to be offered as widely as possible across all employees. Another feature that was emphasized was that it wasn’t just about getting shares in the company it was also about sharing the values of the company, it focused as much on ownership as engagement. They also achieved 87% participation rates.


Best International Share Plan

Here the judges would have liked to presented two awards, as impressed as they were by both companies.  However, they chose BHP Bilton because it is a company that shows a real commitment to engaging with employees by using different stock exchanges to deliver shares to its employees as well as using clear communication, this is despite that fact that it operates in 27 countries around the world.  Their participation rates in these circumstances were remarkable.


Best SME/Succession

C-Mac Industries was given this award because it is in a period of succession and transition.  They have a very different set of circumstances and challenges from large companies.  How do you move from single ownership to employee ownership whilst keeping the character, skills, employees and capabilities of the company intact?  C-Mac’s plan managed to achieve this.

Highly commended – BlueScope Steel


Well done to all our winners


Keynote Speaker – Alex Freytag, from Ownership Thinking, USA

Alex Freytag has spent 16 years helping employees think and act like owners, initially at Profitworks, Ltd., an employee training firm he founded, and now at Ownership Thinking in Columbus, OH, where he is a Partner and Vice President.


Photographs by Michelle Felix