How to Solve the Paradox of the Great Resignation using Company Equity

John Anthony Almerino

November 30, 2021

How to Solve the Paradox of the Great Resignation using Company Equity

January 25, 2022

How to Solve the Paradox of the Great Resignation using Company Equity
Why, in a time of worldwide uncertainty, workers and employees are taking massive risks in quitting their jobs.


If you are a business owner, you may have noticed an increase in worker turnover. We are in the middle of something called the Great Resignation. But don’t fear because there is a simple and powerful way to turn the tables. Plan for the future success of your company with a great worker and community equity plan. Worker equity is a transformative tool that shows new hires that they are part of the success team, that when the company wins, they too will win.


What is the great resignation?


At the height of the global pandemic, something peculiar and unexpected happened. In the United States, a record number of around 11.5 million workers quit their jobs in the middle of this year from April to July. This was taking place at a time where, just a year ago, companies and businesses were forced to lay off people as the world fell into an economic downturn.


High layoff and unemployment rates generally lead to lower turnover rates. Quitting your current job during a recession usually means that it will be extremely difficult to find a new job. Since normally people look towards maintaining financial security and stability during times of uncertainty, resigning from a job and risking being unemployed for a long time would logically not be a popular choice.


Historical trends show that during times of economic instability, resignation rates are usually lower. This is understandable as fewer workers are willing to take the risk of not finding another job if ever they do decide to leave their current work for whatever reason.


But the employment trend that has developed over the last 2 years since the start of the pandemic has not aligned with these predictions and expectations. Workers, seemingly unfazed, began to leave their jobs in droves in what is now known as the “Big Quit” or the “Great Resignation.”


What caused this paradoxical economic behavior?


Why this is happening


Different studies point towards various causes, but they share a common theme: worker dissatisfaction.


Many workers were dissatisfied with how their employers handled the pandemic, with some of them being forced to report for work on-site despite the health hazards. There was also dissatisfaction with the heavier workload under the new remote arrangements. Dissatisfaction with the loss of work-life balance or with the erasure of boundaries between home and the office was likewise common. Others were dissatisfied with how their life in general, was headed.


The pandemic-related movement restrictions meant that people had more time to stay at home and think about their present condition and the future they want for themselves, especially in terms of their employment and career path. Parents with children also had to adjust to their children’s online learning programs with no childcare options while learning how to adjust to the new pandemic lifestyle.


With so much changing in their home and work lives, this meant having the opportunity for clarity, self-awareness, and a new perspective. With a decrease in social outings and team-building opportunities, many workers began to notice that employers were either doing things wrong or not doing enough to help them out, or to support them during these trying times.


What companies and businesses can do


A high turnover rate means that the workers and employers are out of alignment and no longer moving towards similar goals and outcomes. With no shared goal or mission between workers and their companies, there is no meaningful opportunity for empathy and collaboration. What is needed, therefore, is a realignment so that everyone will be on the same page.


We believe that realignment leads to higher worker retention. Once a company or organization is aligned, the direction becomes clearer and the movement towards common goals and objectives is much smoother. An employee who is aligned believes in the company’s mission and vision and wants to help achieve it and make it a reality.  Thus, they are less likely to abandon it.


Determining how to exactly do this though, may be difficult especially if you have no idea what is causing the dissatisfaction in the first place. Once you can pinpoint the triggers underlying issues of worker dissatisfaction, then managers can enact meaningful change to remedy the situation.


How Upstock promotes worker satisfaction


In the constant struggle for employee retention, you will need a reliable weapon to fight the looming specter of resignation. To achieve the goal of retaining and aligning workers and employees, you will have to address the main causes of dissatisfaction among them.


There are, of course, a number of different reasons which may require more precise solutions. But we also have a simple suggestion—offer your workers and employees a future stake in the company so that they will think and act like founders or owners.


Equity compensation facilitates worker-company alignment and rallies both employees and employers alike towards the achievement of shared success. How and when you offer equity must be done carefully as bad equity plans may demotivate workers and may create even more dissatisfaction.


Upstock allows you to avoid these pitfalls and helps you address the underlying factors of worker dissatisfaction through the following defining features:


  • Incentivization of loyalty: We offer equity plans that utilize restricted stock units (RSUs) which only vest after a worker renders service for a certain period of time and/or upon the happening of a landmark success event for the company such as an IPO. This encourages workers to stay longer with the company and to root for its success.
  • Global and remote-first: Our equity plans were crafted with global teams and remote-first companies in mind. Upstock’s equity plans have been vetted by lawyers and experts to ensure that they are valid in 70+ countries, allowing you to issue equity in most parts of the world. All legal documents, logging of hours or work completed, and tracking of equity is handled through an online dashboard.
  • Trust-based time tracking: No invasive time tracking software. Workers log their own time and earn their equity. Tasks may also be set up for workers to accomplish for some equity points. Aligning workers requires trust and you can’t do this by micromanaging and tracking everything they do. Alternatively, a company accountant or manager can be put in charge of entering time monthly equity hours. This is a good option for salaried workers that do not work hourly or performance-task-based schedules.
  • Transparency: Upstock allows you to show the capitalization of the company and how the worker equity pool fits within the overall capital structure. Being transparent allows you to build the trust needed to retain your best employees. Some teams choose to keep the activities of pool members private, while others choose to be fully transparent for a more open and sometimes competitive atmosphere.
  • Visual motivation: Equity is just a bunch of hard-to-understand legal documents and papers for your workers. It is hard to provide an easy way to explain and quantify the value of their equity on any given day. Our app addresses this issue by featuring a motivational dashboard that shows the estimated value of the equity earned. A worker seeing their equity stake increase every month, or with each task completed, can immediately see the value they will earn when a company is successful. This gives team members a stronger reason not to quit, as they can easily see and believe in the long-term value of their work, and will be motivated to continue gaining more and seeing that value increase over time.


Worker retention is indeed a nuanced subject that requires a multi-pronged approach for it to be effectively addressed. A lot of options are available but we believe that having a good equity plan is one of the better ones as it facilitates genuine alignment between workers and the company. Indeed, developing and nurturing alignment is something that can comfortably fit within any strategy designed to combat high resignation and low turnover rates.


Whatever the type, size, or stage your company is in, Upstock can help you achieve your employee retention goals with high-quality equity plans. Feel free to reach out as we’d be happy to discuss this further with you.