April 2. 2024

Why use equity incentives?

If you are considering using shares as part of the remuneration, here you will find arguments related to the use of share-based incentives.

In this article


Options usually have an vesting period, as well as an expiration date. The employee must exercise the option in the period between the vesting date and the expiration date. The option also has an exercise price (also often called a redemption price and strike), which is a pre-agreed price for which the shares can be purchased. It is usually a condition that the employee works in the company from the option is granted until an vesting date (vesting date) in order to have earned the right to the option. This means that the participant as a general rule does not lose the option if he / she quits after this. The employee can exercise this right from the time of vesting until the options expire.

Why use equity incentives? Advantages and disadvantages

Is it most important for the company to retain key employees over time? Is it to reach a particular type of financial or non-financial objective? Or could it be to build a common culture across different entities and national borders? A good share wage agreement is set up depending on the company’s objectives, and must be adapted to both national and international contexts depending on the type of company you have and where you are in the development process.


The purpose of share-based remuneration is mainly to synchronize the interests of owners and employees, and preferably so that both management and employees have incentives to operate solidly in the long run. We will now summarize the benefits of share pay related to the perceived value for employees and the possible benefits for management.


Employee benefits from equity incentives

Equity incentives can seem demanding and difficult to understand. When entering into a share wage agreement, it is therefore important to clarify the incentive benefits that can be achieved so that the employee understands what it takes for him / her to gain as a result of the share wage agreement.


  • Motivation to contribute is created both through ownership pride, and because they themselves can reap the financial rewards of growth and good results. Equity incentives can be experienced as a tangible expression of how much their contribution to the company is valued by the owners.
  • Equity incentives can be seen as a solid long-term investment, partly because many of these agreements operate with good discounts or bonus shares where you receive extra shares as a result of s.
  • Share pay can potentially give the employee far higher compensation than a normal bonus program. This is because the shareholders are often more willing to share more with the employees if the shareholders have a good gain – in addition to the fact that they are easier to give if the employees are willing to commit to the business and share the financial risk.
  • Share wage agreements can provide some tax benefits compared to ordinary purchases of shares.
  • Share pay can signal that the employees and especially the management have faith in the company and say “let’s make the cake bigger together”. Share wages are thus adapted to the modern employee who wants to be part of something bigger.


For advantages and disadvantages of different forms of equity incentives, see articles on the different share pay instruments; Options, RSUs, RSAs, and purchase and savings programs.



The company’s and shareholders’ benefits from share pay

For the company and the shareholders, share pay is first and foremost a tool that helps to make the participants in the program have incentives to act in a way that is beneficial to the company and the company’s value. Since the company’s value will depend on its results and share price, the interests of the employees are drawn in the same direction as those of the owners, who are not necessarily active in the company.


  • Can be crucial for the recruitment of key employees in a global economy with strong competition for the best heads.
  • Can help to retain employees over time (binding effect) and reduce the flight of expertise by setting an earning period / binding period.
  • Increases satisfaction and financial security among employees through potentially lucrative incentives, which result in increased work effort because they take part in the success.
  • Share wages can contribute to cost limitation in employment. Particularly in start-up companies, share pay is used as a measure against large liquidity disbursements.
  • It is important for the owners that especially senior employees stand on extra and communicate the company’s message with enthusiasm even in meetings with investors.Share pay is used to build a culture in the company so that employees and management go in the same direction, and can be especially useful when acquiring or when companies merge and thus have operations with different cultures.

Share pay is used to build a culture in the company so that employees and management go in the same direction, and can be especially useful when acquiring or when companies merge and thus have operations with different cultures.



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