The online finance services provider, Egg, was launched in 1998 with the aim of helping its customers understand and manage their money more effectively. It is now the world’s largest purely online bank with a customer base of over 3.6 million. It operates in three main areas: banking, investments and insurance. In June 2000, Egg plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Egg is part of the Prudential Group which owns 79% of its shares. Egg is itself the parent of a number of companies making up the Egg group all of which trade under the Egg name. It has offices in London, Dudley and Derby.
Pay and Benefits
Egg’s salaries are benchmarked against salaries in other financial services companies. The company estimates that when annual bonuses are taken into account, it pays in the upper quartile for the sector. Employees on its IT graduate training scheme get around £22,000.
All employees automatically become members of the Egg group personal pension plan. Contributions range from 3-10% of salary, and when they retire, employees have the option of a pension for life or a reduced pension and tax-free lump sum. Those transferring from parent company Prudential have the option of continuing their membership of Prudential’s staff pension scheme.
Employees are also covered by the group’s life assurance plan, which provides death-in-service benefits of 3-4 times basic salary. Eligible employees get free private medical insurance, and other employees can opt for subsidised membership of the same scheme. The company also operates two share option plans: the approved share option plan, which about a third of staff participate in, and a savings-related share option plan. Certain employees can opt for a company car or cash alternative.
A childcare voucher scheme enables employees to make savings of up to 11% on their childcare costs; and participating employees also have access to the BUPA Childcare at Work helplines, which offers advice on a range of childcare issued. All staff can also get discounts on a range of high street products. Annual leave starts at 22 days and builds up to 25 days, and the company has introduced a scheme to allow employees to buy up to five days extra holiday.
From April 2003, Egg has operated a flexible working policy available to all employees with children under six-years old or disabled children under 18. Requests for flexible working by other employees are considered on their merits.
Promotion and Development
Prospects for promotion within Egg are good. The company only recruits externally as a last resort, and about 54% of professional grade staff and about 70% of managers come from within the company. Employees can expect formal performance appraisals twice a year. However, managers are also encouraged to give ongoing feedback and adapt their approach to suit what motivates each individual.
The pay system at Egg is graded on three levels: developing (the level at which most new staff are recruited), competent and expert. Pay reviews are normally carried out once a year for professional staff; as part of the review, staff are asked about their aspirations for career progression.
Employees are encouraged to give feedback about the organisation through a monthly opinion survey, which measures their views on issues such as feeling valued, knowing how they contribute to Egg’s objectives, quality of line management skills, and scope of personal development. The survey results are used to help the company identify future areas of development.
During 2003, Egg spent £3m on training – 4% of total payroll costs. New employees can expect to receive four weeks of training followed by a further two weeks of coaching, usually carried out by the line manager.
For more senior employees, annual training can vary from one to 10 days a year, depending on changes to products or systems or the requirements of their role. Managers capabilities are assessed during development workshops, resulting in a personal development plan.
Egg plc Waterhouse Square 138-142 Holborn London EC1N 2NA