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For years, companies have been using employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and various other ownership-sharing tools to attract, keep, and motivate talented people. But stock ownership alone won't make your employees think and act like businesspeople. As management guru Peter Block writes in his visionary book Stewardship, "At worst, employee stock ownership carries the illusion of partnership with no substance; at best, stock ownership underscores the organization's intent to treat employees as owners in a thousand other ways."

Employee Ownership 101

ESOP Facts
Answers to the questions that business owners frequently ask.
Employee Ownership: The Basics
Don't know the difference between an ESOP and stock options? Learn about various types of employee ownership through these commonly asked questions.
ESOPs or Stock Options: Which Will Work for Your Company?
If you're contemplating this frequently asked question, here are some definitions, scenarios, pros and cons, and words of wisdom.
How Small Is Too Small for an ESOP?
Wondering if an employee stock ownership plan is worth your while? Consider these guidelines.
How does phantom stock work?
You can use a "phantom stock" plan to compensate key employees for increasing the company's value -- without sharing ownership of the company.

Beyond the Hype

Employee ownership can be a powerful management tool, but it's no cure-all. The following stories will help you gain a balanced perspective on the pros and cons of employee ownership.

The Silicon Valley Effect
For executive job seekers, stock options are a powerful lure -- but so is the promise of good work.
In Search of Equity
Yes, sharing equity with employees can be good medicine for a number of organizational ills. Now, about the side effects...
Motherhood, Apple Pie & Stock Options
Stock options have become part of the American dream and the managerial weapon of choice for the savviest companies. Trouble is, options may threaten the very companies that offer them.

Employee Education

What Does It Mean to Be an Owner?
If you want your plan to be effective, employees have to understand it. Use the information here to help teach your new employee-owners about their rights and responsibilities as shareholders.
How can we teach employees to think like owners?
Telecare's comprehensive ESOP-education program helps employees think like owners.
"Hey, why can't we just get the cash?"
This is among the most common questions asked by employee-owners. If you're not sure how to respond, this article can help.
We need to teach our employees some financial concepts. Where do we start?
Leadership & Strategy mentor Keith Lamb shares his advice for introducing employees to financial concepts and creating a training program to help make the learning stick.
Do you have any creative ideas for teaching business effectively?
Want to teach employees to understand your company's finances? Consider these creative techniques.
What do I tell employees if our stock dives?
Sure, stock options are a great recruiting tool, but are you prepared to deal with employee reaction if your company's stock price takes a dive?

Creating a Culture of Ownership

Want to help your employee-shareholders learn to think and act like owners? Consider these techniques.

Design a Business Literacy Program
Help your employees understand the value of your business by designing a business literacy program that energizes them.

Employee Ownership as Exit Strategy

The Ultimate Employee Buy-In
Sell the company to your employees? It's a great idea--both for you and for the business you're leaving behind.
Retiring Minds
In today's tough market, selling stock to employees may be the smartest path to an exit strategy.

Resources and Tools

CEO's Notebook: Options & Equity
Here's a collection of tips and techniques on offering stock options, sharing equity, teaching employees about their stock, and discouraging them from selling stock to start their own businesses.




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