1 E*TRADE Corporate Services 2017 Annual Participant Survey conducted by E*TRADE Securities LLC.
2 “How will blockchain technology impact HR and the world of work,” PwC, 2017. https://www.pwc.co.uk/issues/futuretax/assets/blockchain-can%20impact-hr.pdf
information and education about their
Q: Where do you expect to see HR and benefits leaders focusing their
attention in the coming months as they
attempt to address those challenges?
A: HR and benefits leaders are likely to hone in further on the participant
experience. In our view, ease of use
has become, and will continue to be, an
important mantra. Many of the clients we
work with seem intent on enhancing their
ESPP administration by implementing:
1. Regular communications in easy-to-
understand terms, metrics and visual aids
to help participants recognize the potential
value of their stock-plan benefits.
2. Customer-service support,
personalized alerts, on-demand seminars,
live trainings and online multimedia
and mobile content to give participants
3. Dedicated efforts to collect
participant input on how to keep
communications campaigns fresh and
adjust messaging according to different
Regarding this last point, companies need
to put forth the effort required to effectively
engage millennials and baby boomers alike.
Companies with global operations also need
to continually review their plans to make
sure they address currency issues, legal and
regulatory requirements and tax implications
for their colleagues overseas.
Q: What areas of employee benefits are especially ripe for innovation?
A: Technology is the great disruptor. Whether through the cloud, mobile,
social media or the Internet of Things
(IoT)—technology threads our lives. And it
will increasingly alter the way we work.
Interestingly, the growing specter of
blockchain technology has many benefits
providers intrigued by its potential
applications on the business side of their
endeavors. 2 For example, blockchain
has the ability to take a document and
essentially transform it into a permanently
encrypted smart record. Some believe
incorporating a blockchain-based
platform could help benefits providers
streamline participant verification, enhance
cybersecurity and manage cross-border
payments and employee mobility.
In terms of innovation for participants,
sometime down the road industry observers
envision employers investing in an all-encompassing benefits portfolio via a
single, mobile application. Along with their
health and wellness information, individuals
could receive enhanced stock-plan benefits
information customized to their needs. And
it would all be in the palm of their hand.
Craig Rubino is a director at E*TRADE
Financial Corporate Services, Inc.
(E*TRADE). This commentary contains
current opinions from E*TRADE Financial
Corporation and its affiliates, which
are subject to change without notice.
E*TRADE is not affiliated with Human
Resource Executive®, and all commentary
is owned solely by E*TRADE.
In connection with stock-plan solutions
offered by E*TRADE Financial Corporate
Services, Inc., E*TRADE Securities LLC
provides brokerage services to stock-plan
E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services,
Inc. and E*TRADE Securities LLC are
separate but affiliated companies.
Q: What are the biggest challenges facing HR leaders today as far as
employee benefits are concerned?
A: Keeping pace with participant wants and needs while delivering benefits
that they will embrace and engage with
are oft-cited challenges among the clients
with whom we work. In that sense, equity
compensation remains a popular benefit
and a big topic of conversation. With
myriad choices, identifying, designing and
implementing the right strategy can be a
complex task for companies. A big part
of the challenge is finding the best way to
Companies want to make sure their
participants understand what to do,
how to do it and why being actively
engaged with their equity compensation
is important. And the data we’ve seen
seem to indicate that there is significant
opportunity to improve education.
According to the almost 40,000 stock-plan participants surveyed by E*TRADE
Corporate Services, responses indicate
general confusion about equity-compensation benefits. Many participants
indicated that they did not know the basic
mechanics of how their equity plans work.
In fact, more than half said that they didn’t
have a full understanding of how to find
Q&A on Benefits
E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services