Calling All CEO’s – How are you spending your 90,000 hours?

90,000 hours. That is the amount of time CEO and author Jessica Pryce-Jones estimates people spend working during their lifetime. If that many hours really are spent working, shouldn’t the goal be to make that time as high quality and meaningful as possible for our employees?

One of the best ways to ensure engaged employees and a positive work culture is to make them feel like they count, that they have a real stake in their organization. One way to accomplish this would be with an employee stock option plan (ESOP). Currently, there are about 7,000 ESOPs in place in the United States, covering nearly 11 million employees, and that number is poised to grow due to the federal government’s passage of the Main Street Employee Ownership Act of 2018 last month.

The MSEOA, which will go into effect next year, will provide support for ESOPs as well as update the SBA’s lending practices to make it easier for employee groups to get assistance and financing to purchase ownership in their companies.

Employee ownership plans don’t only benefit the employees but companies as a whole and the bottom line. Adopting an ESOP has been shown to strengthen companies within the first year of the move with increased sales and productivity. Studies also show that employee-owned companies are less likely to go bankrupt and tend to stay in business longer than companies without the plans in place. Plus, employees in these companies see tangible differences, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and better productivity. Those working in employee-owned companies usually make more money, have larger amounts in retirement savings, and experience greater job stability with fewer layoffs. Employee ownership also creates more local jobs. This is an important consideration in America’s current economy, which appears strong on the surface but is still failing to create well-paying and meaningful jobs for millions of people. So, rather than waiting around for the Federal Reserve to figure it out, we can continue creating jobs at the local level.

Not the only way

But what if an ESOP isn’t the route your organization wants to take right now or in the foreseeable future? Fortunately, there are other ways organizations can do better jobs of engaging their employees and making all of those hours they spend at work worthwhile.

A lot of organizations talk about transparency and opening up their behind-the-scenes to staff at all levels. But this is often easier talked about than actually done, and organizations rarely have the discipline, staff, or time to do it and do it consistently.  

Platform for the people

Enter OpaConnect®, our progressive performance management platform, which gives our clients transparency at all levels and access to a shared vision for all employees at their organizations. The platform provides for ongoing conversations between employees and managers, which allows everyone to feel engaged and connected to the organization’s strategic vision and offers the same transparency found in ESOP companies.

As Stacy Litteral, the executive director of Kids’ Country, told us a few months back after rolling out OpaConnect®: “Staff are more engaged, happier and fulfilled. They now clearly understand their impact and their worth.” (Read more about this OpaConnect® success story here.)

No matter what field of work they are in, everyone wants to feel like their work is meaningful and important. So, whether it’s through an ESOP or OpaConnect®, let’s work together to make those 90,000 hours count.

To get started on transforming your culture and engage employees, contact us at


Create Your HR Action Plan: Prepare for 2019

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Join us for this interactive seminar to improve your organization’s bottom line. Address culture and opportunities for employee growth. Develop ways to work together within a diverse workforce. Leave ready to create your company’s best culture.

  • Friday, September 14
    Registration/Networking: 9:00 – 9:30am
    Program: 9:30am – 3:30pm

    **Qualifies for 5 Business Recertification Credits / 5 SHRM PDCs**

    Price: Member $195 / General $245 / Join Now $379.97 (includes a 1-year membership)
    Specially for: HR Managers




Join us for this interactive seminar to improve your organization’s bottom line through addressing culture and opportunities for employee development. Gain invaluable information on current workplace trends, as well as a step-by-step guide to create your own plan of action when it comes to tackling generational diversity, developing future leaders, and inspiring collaboration.
We will cover and work on an action plan with a step-by-step guide for you as an HR professional to implement within your organization. We will address and find outcomes for:

1. How to create a People strategy aligned with organizational initiatives and business objectives for 2019.
2. How to engage employees so that growth is accelerated and results in bottom line growth for the company.
3. Identify and adopt new trends in the workplace to continue to build your ability to be an employer of choice.


As we address the ways in which to work together within a diverse workforce, we will uncover the challenges and rewards of managing different generations. This includes taking a look at mentoring; creating connections and understanding how the role of HR ensures that culture improves bottom line results for the organization. We’[ll take a look at some employee engagement data and discuss how to leverage it to engage your employees.
We will break out into groups and work on your own action plan for your organization. We will discuss best practices for implementing a plan of action and what tools and resources are needed throughout the implementation process.


Kirsti Tcherkoyan, CEO & Co-Founder, Options4Growth
Kirsti brings over 20 years of experience working closely with senior executives, mid-tier leaders, and teams in a multitude of industries. She brings solid business strategy to organizations focusing on culture, communication, leadership and strategic thinking.

Growth isn’t an accident. It requires depth and breadth of experience. It takes the kind of coaching that Kirsti provides for the creation and execution of strategic plans for both businesses and professionals.  Kirsti firmly believes that organizations of all sizes and types are successful when employees at all levels are better at what they do and she has built a reputation around helping organizations and executives achieve clarity and vision in developing strategies and exceeding goals.


Cancellations received less than seven calendar days from the program date are not refundable. If cancellation within seven days of the program is unavoidable, a credit for a future event will be granted, minus a $75 administration fee ($15 for regional meetings). Credits must be used within one year of issue. A substitute attendee is allowed at the applicable NCHRA member/non-member rate in lieu of credit. Separate cancellation policies apply for the HR West Conference and Certification Preparation Courses.