THE 2024 NOMINATION WINDOW IS NOW CLOSED

GEO typically accepts GEO Awards applications from November to January..

All applicants will be asked to explain and demonstrate their efforts and progress in the designated category. Any company with a share/stock-based program is eligible and encouraged to apply for an award. There is no fee to apply, and applicants can apply for any, or all, of the award categories.

Download our application form submission template and visit our previous GEO Award Winners before preparing your application.

 

THE 2024 WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN NASHVILLE

The GEO Awards celebration gala will be held on 10 April 2024 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. Book a seat or a table at the ceremony today!

awards venue

HOW TO APPLY

It is possible to submit the same plan for consideration in multiple categories. If you are submitting for multiple plans, submit a separate application for each plan.

All nominations must be made online:

  • Via the GEO Awards online application form
  • By the closing date
  • By a company representative or by nomination from a third-party service provider
  • With supporting documentation - communication materials, plan presentations, public financial filings, etc.

Please keep a copy of your completed application for reference.

If you would like to complete a practice application template before completing the online application, you may download a Practice Application Template.

Awards application image

ENTRY CRITERIA

To qualify for an award, the plan or initiative must display some or all of the following criteria:

  • Be broad-based and offered globally.
  • Be unique in concept, design or performance.
  • Be cutting edge and potentially the first of its kind.
  • Be different from other products or services already in the market.
  • Be an original application of a new or existing product or service.
  • Use new technology or bring new techniques to the industry.
  • Clearly communicate the plan benefits and actively encourage participation.

THE AWARD CATEGORIES

At GEO, we continually review and update our award categories to reflect the latest market trends, providing companies with a platform to showcase their strengths and achievements in share plan design and implementation.

Our focus is on recognizing excellence in effective and innovative share ownership structures across all industries and regions, promoting employee engagement and driving business success.

For 2024, we are delighted to announce a NEW award category, BEST IN EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION.

Best in Financial Education

There is an increasing awareness among companies that their responsibility to plan participants extends beyond the implementation of a share plan. Providing adequate financial education to participants is seen as one of the key features of successful global share plans.

The award for Best in Financial Education is granted to companies who have implemented a financial education program that best meets the challenge of providing independent and objective information to employees without infringing on compliance or other regulatory constraints.

Best Plan Communication

An effective communication program is key to the success of any share plan program. Operating plans globally present unique geographic, linguistic, and cultural challenges that complicate even the best communication programs. This award category looks for the most effective and appropriate communication methods and materials used in plan communications, including written, internet/web-based and virtual communication methods including video technology regardless of where a plan is offered. Judges will consider a company's size and number of participants to whom the company must communicate with regarding their share plans.

Awards are not based on the amount of money spent on a communications program—rather they are based on content, coherency, and style of the message delivered, including the cohesiveness of the media employed to accomplish the organization’s defined goals.

Note that in previous years, the awards process considered video technology as a separate awards category, however, due to the fact that video media is commonly deployed as part of a comprehensive campaign, all communication mechanisms will be considered within the Best Plan Communication category.

Best Plan Effectiveness

Share plans help companies achieve their corporate mission and goals. This award category is designed to highlight companies that have spent time and resources developing share plans that work well towards meeting key corporate objectives. The criteria for this category are based on the assessment of plan participation and other ways of involving employees in the successful operation of the company.

An essential component of assessing effectiveness is a clear statement of the goals of the plan in addition to a demonstrated measurement technique to gauge progress in achieving those goals.

Best Use of Employee Share Plans in a Private Company

Share plans help companies achieve their corporate mission and goals. This award category highlights private companies that have spent time and energy developing share plans that support the achievement of key corporate objectives while remaining a privately-held company.

The criteria for this category are based on the assessment of effective private company plan design, overall participation and other unique ways of involving employees in the successful operation of the company.

An essential component of assessing share plan excellence in the private company environment is a clear statement of the goals of the plan in addition to a demonstrated measurement technique to gauge progress in achieving those goals.

Best Use of Employee Share Plans in an Emerging Market

The challenges of spreading share plan wealth globally can be particularly complex in emerging markets. Developing legislation, introducing share plans to an unfamiliar population and/or dealing with complex governance structures are a few among a myriad of challenges in a developing economy.

This award category is designed to highlight companies that have developed and successfully deployed a global share plan program, including or focused on an emerging market. Successful candidates in this category will demonstrate the ability to address particular economic, social, political or even religious challenges faced in deploying in a developing economy.

The winning company will address and even incorporate these aspects in their plan to be successful for their company and their employees. We recognize that measuring success may be different than what we have defined historically.

Best Use of Employee Share Plans in a Corporate Action

Share plan programs are increasingly viewed as a strategic tool in preparing for and executing mergers, acquisitions, reorganization or divestitures. This award recognizes excellence in the use of share plans in support of specific objectives furthering a corporate action.

Measurements include fair or enhanced treatment for impacted participants, effective communication of implications to share plan participants, and demonstrated commitment to share plans after the conclusion of the corporate action. Qualified corporate actions include mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, divestitures and similar actions.

Best Use of Technology

The best designed and communicated global share plans can be prohibitively expensive and time consuming if not properly managed and operated. The use of paper/print confirmation, enrollment, account management forms and communication materials inherently slows the implementation and management of these plans. Corporate stock plan departments have thus found websites, intranets, electronic tools and other virtual technologies invaluable and cost effective in managing, communicating, and administering global share plans.

The Best Use of Technology award is granted to companies that develop and/or implement innovative, appropriate, and comprehensive technological solutions to share plan administration, communication, and internal project management.

Most Creative Solution

Companies regularly face challenges—whether a result of complex plan design or extension of a plan globally—in their share plans. This award allows applicants to demonstrate how creative they are in the design and administration of their share plans while still maintaining a high level of service to plan participants. The Most Creative Solution award is granted to companies who have implemented proven, effective, and innovative solutions that solve a company's needs and reduce workload and scale processes.

Awards in this category are granted to companies who offer premier solutions to unique challenges and set new industry standards.

Most Innovative Plan Design

Share plans can be created to meet a multitude of corporate objectives which must be balanced with the legal, regulatory, and tax issues, both in the headquarters country as well as in other jurisdictions. An equally important challenge is to create a global plan that maintains the core corporate philosophy while adapting to local cultural concerns.

This award category allows applicants to demonstrate how creative they are in working around potential stumbling blocks in developing and implementing global share plans. Measurements in this category include how well the plan was creatively adapted to local tax and regulatory laws, innovative ways to increase employee participation and excitement and how the plan differs from competitors or industry norms.

The Judges' Award

Nominations will not be solicited for the optional Judges' Award.

The Judges’ Award is awarded to a company, organization, or individual that has made an exceptional contribution towards promoting global employee share ownership.

This award is intended to be granted to a company, organization, or individual that needs no application – a winner that is recognized as a leader in the field. If the award is given to a company or organization, the Judges will evaluate the overall impact of the equity plan, or promotion of equity plans, has had on its employees, shareholders, community, and the business environment. Individual awards will be based on the contribution of that person to the equity compensation profession over their lifetime.

GEO Pioneers

The prestigious Pioneer Award is awarded each year to an individual that has demonstrated energetic and unflagging dedication to the development and ensured success of the Global Equity Organization.

The award is designed to recognize prolonged service to the employee share ownership industry and to acknowledge those that act as an ambassador for GEO throughout their daily activities.

GEO Star Awards

The GEO Star Award recognizes the exceptional contributions of dedicated volunteers who selflessly gift their time, expertise, and efforts to support GEO's mission. As a non-profit organization, GEO is grateful for the tireless efforts of these committed contributors, some of whom have been supporting GEO for more than a decade. By providing members with the resources they need to bring outstanding examples of share participation to their companies, GEO Stars go above and beyond to ensure GEO's success. GEO proudly honors the winners of this award for their outstanding commitment to building a strong and engaged community of share plan professionals.

The GEO Chapter Awards

The GEO Star Award recognizes the exceptional contributions of dedicated volunteers who selflessly gift their time, expertise, and efforts to support GEO's mission. As a non-profit organization, GEO is grateful for the tireless efforts of these committed contributors, some of whom have been supporting GEO for more than a decade. By providing members with the resources they need to bring outstanding examples of share participation to their companies, GEO Stars go above and beyond to ensure GEO's success. GEO proudly honors the winners of this award for their outstanding commitment to building a strong and engaged community of share plan professionals.

THE AWARD WINNERS

The GEO Award winners represent the industry's highest flyers and strongest performers, showcasing their outstanding achievements and best practices.

EXCELLENCE IN GLOBAL SHARE PLANS

GEO’s Excellence thought leadership program offers a unique way to learn from the best and gain insights into the best practices and strategies that drive successful share plan implementation.

CELEBRATE WITH THE AWARD WINNERS

Attend GEO's Annual Conference or purchase seats at the GEO Awards gala. The black-tie evening with industry leaders is your chance celebrate success in our industry