Employee stock plans across a multi-generational workforce

Content Team April 30, 2020 mins read

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Employee stock plans across a multi-generational workforce

In your company, there are probably two different employee groups – one group that is planning ahead for the future, and one group that is not. There’s nothing wrong with either mindset, they’re just different.

Generally speaking, this division usually falls along generational lines. The older generation is usually more conscious of saving for retirement, or for rainy days, whereas the younger generation generally focuses more on the immediate future – including job satisfaction and purpose.

When you’re trying to send out a consistent message to your company, particularly around employee stock plans and employee ownership, this can complicate things. Employee stock plans are primarily seen as longer-term savings vehicles – how do you craft a message that applies to both groups? Is it even possible?

You can always send out two messages, but this is far from ideal. For any undertaking, you want to have a unified message. Besides, how would you meaningfully tell the two groups apart? As we said, these things don’t always fall along the lines you might assume.

There are probably a few ways to do this, but we have one idea. Stick to one message, but with two principles. First, that employee stock plans will help you financially in the long run. Second, that employee stock plans foster a sense of community and company spirit. Combined, they form the message of: a community now, financial gain later.

This message appeals to both groups, the long term planners and the short term planners, without dividing or splitting the message. Let’s take a closer look at this message, and how you can use it to ensure that everyone in your company knows a simple truth: employee stock plans are for everyone.

Community now

These days, most employees don’t stay with one employer for very long or even expect to. More and more experts are saying that we need to rethink the idea of a ‘career’, as the majority of people will probably have a number of different careers, not just in different companies, but even in different industries.

That’s all well and good, but there is something to be said for staying with one company. After all, the longer the employee is with a company, the more they identify with it. The company becomes more and more tied to its workplace identity.

And more and more people are looking for something beyond a paycheck from their employer. They want to feel valued, and they want to find a purpose in their work. Depending on the industry, this can be hard to provide organically. If you’re an employee in a company with 2,000 other employees, it can be hard to feel like an essential part of the team. Therefore, you’re unlikely to find much purpose in the work.

That’s where employee ownership comes in. With an employee stock plan, every employee is also an owner. They have a direct connection to the business, as well as to all of their colleagues. If fostered purposefully, this can create an ‘all for one, and one for all’ environment.

Financial gain later

So, you’ve started creating a strong message that resonates with your short-term planners, the ones that are looking for the more immediate benefit. But how about the long term planners, the ones looking further ahead?

The financial benefits of employee share plans are generally the easiest part to communicate. Stock plans are a tax-efficient way to reward hard-working employees over time, especially if their work helps to push the company forward. The better their work, the better the company performs. And the better the company performs, the more they are rewarded. It’s a virtuous cycle and one that directly impacts the employees’ bottom lines.

Everybody wants to save, even if they’re a short-term planner. And they want to save in the most straightforward way possible. So, when you’re explaining the benefits, make sure you highlight how easy and low-risk stock plans are for employees.

By combining these two benefits into one simple message, you can make sure that all of your employees understand how stock plans can benefit them. And if you want more ways to reach your employees, or you’re interested in learning what employee stock plans can do for your company, contact us at Global Shares. We have a decade and a half of experience in creating the most powerful equity compensation plans, and communicating their benefits to participants.

We’d be happy to help you.

To read more about stock plans, please click here.

Please Note: This publication contains general information only and Global Shares is not, through this article, issuing any advice, be it legal, financial, tax-related, business-related, professional or other. The Global Shares Academy is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be used as such. Global Shares does not assume any liability for reliance on the information provided herein.

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