Pinterest changes employee stock options

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In a recent move that business experts are predicting could rock the start-up world, Pinterest has switched up its policy regarding employee stock options.

Now, the photo-sharing website will let workers who have given more than two years’ service retain their vested stock options for a full seven years after leaving the company.

The decision has gone down a storm with employees but it’s also good for business and has the potential to improve productivity and engagement. Here’s why –

Rather than taking home a higher salary, start-up employees often prefer to receive stock options of the company they work for. They’re optimistic that as the company grows, the value will increase and make up for any lost wages.

This in itself is a great productivity booster – employees are working on their own profit as well as the company’s. However, as any HR professional working at a start-up knows, there are a couple of strings attached to the deal.

When an employee wants to leave the company, they usually have just 90 days to exercise their options – this means they have to either buy the stocks at “strike price” – their value when they were first granted – sell some publically if possible, or forfeit them all.

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