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September 01, 2015 | Barbara Baksa

Random Answers

Here are the results to my random questions in last week's blog entry.

Terminated Employees & Black-out Periods

Two-thirds of respondents (37 out of 54) do not subject terminated employees to black-out periods.

For those respondents that do subject employees to black-out periods, the majority (11 out 16 respondents), don't make any accommodation for them.  The terminated employees are simply expected to finance their exercises in a way that doesn't involve an open market sale.

Two respondents noted in the comments that they would automatically exercise the options if they aren't exercised by the end of the exercise period.  One person noted that their black-out period is shorter than their post-termination exercise period, so this hasn't been a concern for them.

Evaluating Stock Plan Administration

The majority of respondents don't have any specific metrics that they use to evaluate the performance of the stock plan administration team (which probably explains why no one has responded to this question in the NASPP Discussion Forum).

Of the metrics suggested in the question, the most popular choices were:

  • Accuracy of reports produced for tax/financial purposes (7 respondents)
  • Total time spend on various tasks (e.g., employee inquiries, processing transactions, reporting) (4 respondents)

One respondent indicated that they are evaluated on their average time to resolve employee inquires/escalations and one respondent indicated that they are evaluated on the processing and direct costs per participant.

Some of the metrics suggested in the other comments were:

  • Timeliness and accuracy of all transactions, participant communications, and tax/financial reporting
  • Demonstration of increasing knowledge and ability to take on more complex tasks
  • Quality of response to employee inquiries/escalations
  • ESPP participation
  • Responsiveness to plan managers and various company contacts in addition to participants

Personally, I think that having at least a rough idea of how much time you spend on various tasks is an important and valuable metric to be aware of.  It can be very helpful when trying to prioritize various initiatives and projects.  For example, if tax reporting takes a huge amount of time compared to everything else you are doing at year-end, that might be an indication that you need to invest in improving your tax reporting processes.

I'm also a big fan of the ESPP participation metric, but only if you have the proper tools and resources to impact this (e.g., education budget, attractive plan, etc.)

Grant Conversion

Close to 90% (38 out of 43 respondents) don't convert grant values into foreign currency before determining grant sizes for non-US participants.

What About the Family Feud Contest?

I will announce those results in tomorrow's blog.

- Barbara

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