Equity plans: HR’s secret weapon in the war against burnout

Adaptability is the key to survival

Equity plans: HR’s secret weapon in the war against burnout

If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that adaptability is the key to survival. COVID-19 threw HR leaders quite the curveball, with employers scrambling to keep businesses afloat and keep employees productive.

HRD spoke to Robyn Shutak, equity advisory services practice leader, and Nicole Contreras, program manager, communication services at Computershare – both speakers at the "Utilizing Equity Plans to Drive Employee Engagement in a Post-Pandemic World" webinar.

The pair revealed why engagement is such an important factor to retention – and explained how a simple equity plan could be the catalyst for a more productive team.

“Employee retention is a huge concern for employers going into 2021,” explained Shutak.

“I believe the ultimate red flag that employees aren't engaged is a high turnover - that's first and foremost. If companies are noticing an increase in employee turnover across their organization, it’s safe to say that something isn’t right.”

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Happy employees are always looking for new challenges – new ways to further their own career and the company in general. As such, if you start seeing that your employees aren't as excited as they once were, it’s a clear signal that you've got a disengaged worker on your hands. So where has this onslaught of unproductivity come from?

“Right now, employees are dealing with a shift in boundaries.,” added Contreras. “They’re feeling isolated, alone, overworked – all of this contributes directly to a lack of motivation and a desire to look for new opportunities.

“If you want employees to be more engaged, I'd recommend communicating effectively to minimize any ambiguity - people need to understand that they’re important members of the team and of the company.”

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One leading factor of disengagement is the shift to remote work. Whilst technology effectively saved us from an even greater economic downturn, allowing operations to continue unabated, it’s also led to an increase in burnout for employees.

Living where you work – working where you live – it’s a heady cycle that can lead to feelings of stress. It’s important that HR leaders look to foster an authentic culture remotely – which, as Shutak explained, takes more than virtual happy hours and bingo.

“I think that deploying a sense of belonging is a real driver of employee experience,” she told HRD. “There’s been so much disruption over the past few months, in both our personal and our professional lives, so it’s natural that employees are down. People want to feel like they’re part of something greater – which ties in with the notion of stock compensation as a core business component.”

A renewed focus on equity compensation has come to the fore in the past few months. When implemented well, equity compensation can create a workplace full of engaged employees, as well as providing cost savings for employers.

“An employee ownership stake in the company is just one way that HR leaders can always create engagement,” continued Shutak. “Equity compensation allows recipients to see a direct correlation between their workplace success and the success of the company and in turn their stock.”

To hear more on how equity compensation can become a core component of your HR strategy, check out Computershare’s webinar here.

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