Employee share plans: a view from a junior employee
Many years ago I was lucky enough to be involved in an employee share plan in a small company. At the time, I was a secretary/marketing assistant, not long out of university with an English degree. I knew plenty about George Eliot and drinking games, but nothing about share capital, and even less about employee share ownership.
Yet, despite my lack of knowledge, and my lowly position in the company, that share plan worked for me (and it’s largely why I do the job I’m doing today.)
Almost everything was down to communication. This meant:
- I understood the plan. The owners of the company explained – constantly! – about how the plan worked and what it was meant to achieve.
- I understood how the company was performing. All the employees were kept updated about company performance – good or bad. We could all see the link between how the company was doing and what we would get out of it. Our dividends depended on it.
- I understood about teamwork. Everyone knew how important their roles were. If I didn’t take a phone message properly, maybe we’d lose a client. If I ran a shoddy seminar, then no new clients would come through the door. Everything added up to the bigger picture.
I stayed with that company for years, utterly committed to the business which I owned a part of. When the company was sold, I got a piece of the pie. It wasn’t a very big slice of pie, but it was a whole lot more than I’d have got in a company that didn’t offer a share scheme. It got me a fantastic holiday, and it paid for my law degree (though I’d still rather read something by George Eliot).
Don’t assume that share plans only work for senior executives – they can work for all staff, provided that you communicate clearly and consistently, and provided everyone understands that they’re all working towards the same corporate goals.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialists implementing an employee share plan, call us on 020 8949 5522, or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.