The secret of liquefied air China talent development and retention: employee stock ownership plan

- Jan 13, 2019-

Founded in 1902, Air Liquide is headquartered in Paris, France and is one of the world's leading leaders in gas, technology and services for the industrial and healthcare sectors. The Air Liquide Group entered China in 1916 and returned to the Chinese market in the 1970s to provide air separation equipment. In the early 1990s, it began its gas business in China. Currently, it has nearly 90 factories in more than 40 cities in China. In 2017, Air Liquide's sales reached 20.3 billion euros, of which life-saving and environmental solutions accounted for more than 40% of sales.

The Air Liquide Employee Stock Ownership Plan is the company's main soul to attract talent, develop and develop talent. Because only in a good working environment and incentive mechanism, employees can fully engage and innovate, enabling the Group to adapt to changes in energy and environmental transformation, healthcare and digital, and create more value for customers.


Employee stock ownership plan

Individual shareholding is a key factor in the survival and development of liquefied air as a century-old enterprise. In 1902, liquefied air was officially launched under the auspices of 24 individual shareholders. At that time, banks were reluctant to provide loans to them, and shareholders supported the company's development through capital raising. In 1907, the first payment of dividends. In 1913, the initial public offering, by 2018, Air Liquide Group has 410,000 individual shareholders worldwide.


A people-oriented quality workplace should always focus on the cultivation and development of talents, motivate employees and enhance the overall experience of employees. Among them, the employee shareholding is the most characteristic welfare plan of the Air Liquide Group, which currently covers more than 80 countries around the world. Air Liquide China has participated in the employee stock ownership plan since 2009. All regular employees, regardless of their level or not, can purchase a company's stock at a 20% discount. The employee's share purchase funds can be paid through the company's interest-free advance payment, and will be returned to the company in installments within 12 months after purchase. The company encourages employees to hold shares for a long time. For shareholders who have held shares for more than two years, they will pay an additional 10% bonus as a loyalty reward when distributing dividends and offering shares.


When there is an oversubscription, the purchases are deducted from the executives, and the first-line employees and the low-volume employees are given priority to ensure that the purchases of the grassroots employees are 100% satisfied. The company encourages ordinary front-line employees to participate more in sharing the company's business results. It also has stock options and performance share for China's high-performance and high-latency employees, which greatly enhances employees' enthusiasm and motivation.


The business nature of liquefied air determines that there are a large number of blue-collar front-line employees who may not be able to adapt to the online subscription of liquid air stocks through the Internet in order to prevent an employee from losing the right to become a liquid air shareholder due to unfamiliarity with the subscription process. The promotion plan of the stock plan has been set up in various places. Whether it is the factory in the desert of Inner Mongolia or the on-site gas station in Hainan Island, employees can choose to fill out the paper purchase order, and the promotion ambassador will help employees complete the online subscription.


Since the employee stock ownership plan fully takes care of the vital interests of the frontline employees, the purchase is convenient, and the return on investment is stable, the plan has won the recognition of Chinese employees. At present, China has become the second largest subscription country in the world after France. As of the end of 2017, 40% of Air Liquide Chinese employees purchased company stocks, and employees who held shares for more than 5 years reached 30%. The employee stock ownership plan is a good welfare for liquefied air to provide employees. It is also a strategy for the company to establish a long-term development. The shared vision of shareholders and liquefied air is the cornerstone of the company's