Granting Employees Enterprise Management Incentives: Five key principles to consider

3 mins

Posted on 31 Jul 2023

Granting Employees Enterprise Management Incentives: Five key principles to consider

Enterprise Management Incentives (EMIs) are powerful tools that allow employers to reward and motivate their employees by granting them the opportunity to participate in the success of the company.

EMIs not only align the interests of employees with those of the business but also foster a sense of ownership and commitment. However, implementing an effective EMI scheme requires careful consideration and planning.

Below, we discuss the five key principles which should be considered:

1. Clear and Transparent Communication

Effective communication is the foundation of any successful EMI scheme. It is essential to clearly articulate the objectives, eligibility criteria, and potential benefits of the program, to employees.

Transparent communication will help build trust and ensure that employees understand the purpose and value of the incentives. Providing regular updates on the progress of the scheme and addressing any concerns or queries promptly will further enhance employee engagement and satisfaction.

2. Appropriate Incentive Structure

Designing the right incentive structure is key to the success of an EMI scheme. It’s important to consider factors such as employee roles, responsibilities, and performance criteria, when determining the reward mechanism and structure. For instance, you may choose to link incentives to individual or team performance, specific project milestones, or overall company performance.

Tailoring the incentives to align with employee goals and aspirations will enhance their motivation to contribute to the company's success.

3. Fair and Equitable Distribution

Equity and fairness are critical aspects of an EMI scheme. You should ensure that the incentives are distributed in a manner that recognises and rewards employee contributions fairly and proportionately.

While it's common to have different levels of incentives based on seniority or performance, it is essential to avoid creating disparities that may lead to demotivation or resentment among employees. Conduct periodic reviews to assess the fairness of the scheme and make adjustments if necessary.

4. Balancing Risk and Reward

EMI schemes should strike the right balance between risk and reward. Employees must have a reasonable opportunity to benefit from the success of the business, but it's equally important to protect the interests of the company in the case of it facing challenges or setbacks.

The scheme should protect the company from employees leaving, and consider all possible circumstances between the date of grant to exercise

5. Legal and Regulatory Compliance

When implementing an EMI scheme, it is crucial to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements. EMIs often have specific tax implications, so consulting with tax advisers or legal professionals to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations is critical. It’s important to familiarise yourself with any reporting requirements to avoid potential penalties or legal issues.


EMIs can be highly effective in fostering employee motivation and aligning their interests with those of the organisation. By considering these five important factors, you can design and implement an EMI scheme that drives employee engagement and contributes to the long-term success of your company. Remember, an effective EMI scheme is not only about financial rewards but also about creating a culture of ownership, collaboration, and shared success.

For further information on how we can support your business with EMIs, please visit our Share Schemes, Options & Incentives page, or contact a member of our Corporate team.

Thomas Clark

Thomas is an experienced corporate lawyer who advises clients on matters including business sales and purchases, shareholder agreements and articles of association, reorganisations, preparation for sale, and employee incentives.

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The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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