Workplace Development has just added a blog  to our website. I’m kicking it off with thoughts on employee turnover.  Last month I provided coaching and ESOP roll out services for a client has a talent pool that makes annual decisions about renewing their commitment to the company. “So we can’t tell them what it will be worth in dollars right now, but we want it to part of their thinking if they look at another job opportunity,” noted the frustrated company president. The company president is right; it is absolutely essential to communicate the ESOPs benefits now. And unfortunately it is also true that we have to do it without concrete numbers.  This communication challenge is part of any performance-based reward — but it is especially critical for an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in the early days.

We know that ESOPs can have a positive impact on employee retention, but making this a reality requires careful attention to communication about this unique benefit.  For some of our clients this means stepping into the speculative (and somewhat dangerous) world of future dollar projections or guesstimates. While we can offer ways to minimize making promises, this approach still has its drawbacks.  Many of our clients focus on approaches that build appreciation for the non-financial advantages of their ESOP — in addition to the potential financial rewards.  These advantages, if properly communicated, can be powerful motivators for making a long-term commitment to your company.