for legal teams
for law firms

Project

How to

gamify stock option plans?

Key talent does not settle for a ‘simple’ salary. As companies work hard on attracting and retaining key talent, they often opt for virtual stock option plans. Great plan, isn’t it? Up until the moment you realise key talent does not see the virtual stock option plans as a bonus. Together with Sharesquare we gamified their virtual stock option plan.

It is an incomprehensible construction full of suspicious buzzwords like ‘exit’, ‘vesting’ and ‘milestones’. So here is the challenge: How to make a gift look like a gift?

For the virtual stock option to work well, employees must understand the scheme and find it beneficial. Long and wordy agreements are out of question.

For entrepreneurs and their teams, the name of the game is: increasing the value of the company. The stock option plan should reflect this hassle. We have, therefore, decided to explain how the virtual stock option plan works in a form of game rules. They show how to maximise the company value and the personal bonuses, as well as when the bonuses get paid out and to whom.

Of course, the important legal concepts of vesting, exit and milestones must be addressed. We decided to explain them without actually mentioning the buzzwords. No confusion, just simple game rules.

We want to avoid abstract words. Therefore, instead of using the word ‘vesting’, we talk about the rules on earning points. Simple, but you get the gist of it.

Now it is time to increase the value of the company and hence increase the value of employee’s points. The bonus is only paid out in case of an ‘exit’. We make sure to define what an ‘exit’ is.

In every good game you can choose who you want to be. Virtual stock option plan is not different. Instead of using terms of ‘good leaver’ and ‘bad leaver’ the characters are called ‘climber’, ‘cheerleader’ and ‘saboteur’. It is up to you to choose the one you want to be and how you want to play the game.

Commissioned by Sharesquare

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