The real aim of any employee liquidity plan is to give employees a break and then challenge all stakeholders to be patient, continue working, and focus on the long-term goal of building a company that they are proud of. The remaining 80 percent of the presentation should stress that there’s still a lot of work to be done. The focus is on the IPO horizon and beyond.
As you drive home the message of the liquidity plan, remind employees that no one has hit the jackpot. This isn’t the time to retire early or to head on an extended vacation; it’s not a value-maximizing event. Employees should sell only what they really need. They are giving up some monetary upside by selling now, and there will be taxes to pay — and by no means is this going to turn into an annual visit to the company ATM.