Putting Stock in Customer Service

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Customer service applies to external customers who buy products and services. There is another kind of customer service – internal customer service.  It has the same purpose, but this time it’s meant to make employees, a company’s internal customers, happy.  Benefits, perks and generous pay rates are typical ways employers provide the employees with necessities that make life more enjoyable, comfortable and pay the bills.

Companies that go public have can offer another perk to employees. Can you say “stock giveaway” in 140 characters? Well, Twitter is doing just that with its impending IPO. They have decided to give stock to key employees and others. IPOs stock can be a windfall for anyone lucky enough to get or purchase some of the stock if it closes higher than its initial offering price. It can also close lower and continue a downward slide. 

Why is Twitter being so generous? To provide exceptional customer service by giving employees a piece of the company making them partners in its success (or failure). It has another motive as well. The stock gift comes with some conditions and a vesting period. Twitter can entice employees to stick around, at least for four years, until the stock fully vests. Hopefully, it will be worth more in four years to make the wait a good investment.

The Facebook IPO didn’t turn out as well as expected. Employees who bought stock are now looking for ways to sue the company, since the stock took a nosedive after the IPO. These employees bought stock based on the belief that it would skyrocket, and when it didn’t, cried foul. Which begs the question—how much responsibility does a company have for the quality or performance of employee benefits? How effective are employee benefits, like stock giveaways, in retaining employees? 

Salary increases are expected at the beginning of a new year or hire date anniversary. How much is enough to make an employee happy? With a struggling economy, downsizing and a lot of belt-tightening going on, a modest cost-of-living raise across the board is all some companies can afford.  Stock is a promise of future success. That success depends on the efforts of the employees and company management. A gift is nice to get, but when employees’ work, talent and expertise makes a reward possible, there is a sense of pride and teamwork that goes beyond the gift itself.

Disgruntled with the IPO, some of Facebook’s talented employees left for greener pastures. Twitter hopes to avoid the talent drain by taking the risk out of stock ownership. Who can complain about the value of something when you didn’t pay for it in the first place? And if you have something to do with increasing the value, you’ll work harder to improve your position. 

Many publicly traded companies have stock purchase or giveaway plans. Stock options give employees the opportunity to buy stock at discounted prices for a certain period of time. Nothing is without risk. The thought of “owning” part of the company is attractiveand promotes buy-in and loyalty. Twitter’s generous giveaway program can give employees a financial boost, help build a comfortable future and make them happy at the same time.

Photo Source: Freedigitalphotos.net


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