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Equity Plan Communications: The Power of Virtual Panel Discussions

Consistent, frequent communication is an essential factor in promoting equity plan enrollment. And when it comes to communication tools, there’s a tactic that is easy to implement and effective in providing information – a virtual panel discussion.

In an age of remote work, where face-to-face meetings aren’t always possible, virtual panel discussions provide a venue to enable informal conversations between leadership and employees. The aim? To inform, excite and inspire equity plan enrollment.

Hosting virtual panel discussions: The basics

The beauty of virtual panel discussions is you don’t need much to get started. Essentially, you simply need to get leadership buy-in, line up a leader (or panel of leaders) to answer questions and appoint a session moderator. A great panel may include your CEO and a leader in talent or culture, with you as the moderator.

Next, compile a list of questions for the moderator to ask the panel. These questions should be open-ended – designed to spark discussion and answer your attendees’ most pressing concerns. If you want to go one step further, you could send an anonymous survey to employees in advance to make sure your questions hit the mark.

However, you choose to approach it, your moderator may want to ask the following questions during the chat:

  • Why did you join (COMPANY NAME)?
  • What does equity mean to you?
  • How did you come to think of equity as a tool to accomplish the company vision?
  • How does offering equity reflect our company’s culture?
  • How has our equity offering evolved since it first launched? Do you think it still helps with employee retention? If so, how?
  • What are some benefits of offering equity that you didn’t initially expect?
  • If you could build your plan all over again, what would you change?
  • How do you think equity helps grow our business?

The importance of two-way communication

To help employees better understand the benefits of your equity plan and minimize any concerns or misconceptions, it’s important to give them a platform to ask questions. That’s why every virtual panel discussion should leave plenty of time at the end for a Q&A session.

Sometimes, however, employees may need a little prompting before they feel comfortable speaking up on their own. To get things started, consider asking the following questions from your audience:

  • For those of you who haven’t yet signed up for the program, what’s the main thing holding you back?
  • For those of you who have used the program, what did you do with your equity—or what do you plan to do?
  • Does anyone have questions about how the equity plan works (that maybe haven’t been answered in this conversation yet)?
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