Not to make this all about us, but when we ran our first Equity 101 training here at Ethena — if we haven’t met, hi! 👋 we’re a compliance platform for modern teams! — we had some pretty fascinating takeaways.

The first thing we noticed came up in the planning process: was there seriously no existing course on the market that would comprehensively train on these topics? There really didn’t seem to be, which made the whole training session much higher lift than strictly necessary.

The second thing we noticed during the event itself: that a not-insignificant portion of our workforce was being exposed to some of these concepts for the first time. Whether because it was their first corporate job, their first opportunity to invest in a company they worked for, or just that no one had made enough of an effort to get the information across at previous orgs, Ethenians were simply brimming with questions.

So almost immediately, we’re aware that there’s not only a clear and present need for this course, but also a gap in the market where one could exist. We got to work planning out the course to fill it and are thrilled to share the results.

Now presenting…Ethena’s Equity 101 course, hot off the proverbial presses.

What is Equity 101?

Broadly, we’d expect any Equity 101 course to be an introduction to all things stock options, covering vocabulary, basics, more advanced concepts — basically everything you need to know about equity and how to understand and approach the opportunity to invest in your company. 

More specifically, Ethena’s course is a 36-minute deep dive into modern and ethical approaches to equity and stock options. It’s a foundational course that’s targeted mainly toward American tech companies, as it centers around U.S. laws, and is designed to be helpful whether your company is public or private.

How do I know it’s time to roll out Equity 101 training?

There are plenty of reasons your company might be ready to invest in some Equity 101 training, but here are the ones we’ve heard most often as part of our research:

  • You’re one of the many companies that offer equity and stock options as part of your employee compensation packages, and you want to ensure that new hires and long-term employees alike understand how equity factors into their comp.
  • You need a low-lift and scalable method for educating your team. There are many different types of stock options and they all work differently, so it’s crucial that employees understand the basics and can act accordingly without you needing to run endless trainings to get the info across. 
  • You’re looking for a streamlined method for sharing info companywide. The training comes off the shelf with a high level of depth and comprehensiveness, but it also offers a ton of configurability options. You can add in company-specific details like resource slides, policy links, and variables (for example, exercise windows, vesting schedules, where to view stock info, etc.), so that the information not only feels relevant to your team’s day-to-day, but stays easily accessible within our platform.
  • You want to signal your commitment to your team. Onboarding Equity 101 training shows employees, shareholders, and the public that you and your company take your responsibility to inform employees of the company’s stock options seriously.

What’s covered in Ethena’s Equity 101 course?

Ethena’s Equity 101 course is built with input from subject-matter experts, drafted by journalists, playwrights, poets, and other creative professionals, and then rounded out with custom illustrations, audio, videos, and in-training test questions to speak to as many learning styles as possible.

Our course is broken down into the following four bite-sized chunks (that learners can pause and resume whenever they’d like without losing their progress — we know your teams are busy!):

  • Introduction
  • Stock Option Basics
  • Exercising Stock Options
  • Legal Regulations

Across the course, we’ll cover basic definitions and terms regarding stock options, how to exercise your options, tax implications, insider trading considerations, closed trading periods (formerly called “blackout periods”), trading windows, and relevant legislation like the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

What skills should employees walk away with?

Most companies don’t currently offer any form of equity or stock options training, so getting folks educated on the basics is an important first step. That said, it isn’t the final step; while existing training mostly focuses solely on the educational side, we want to be promoting actionable knowledge as well as educational knowledge. (After all, you can be the biggest Equity 101 genius there is, but if you aren’t comfortable enough to bring that knowledge to exercising your own options, there’s still a disconnect.)

In short, we’re aiming for that sweet spot between book smarts and street smarts, and success looks like a team full of folks who not only understand their options, but also confidently interact with them.

What sets Ethena’s training apart?

We know that as administrators, you tend to come to the table with your plate very full already, so we make it our business to take things off instead of adding them on. That means turning out content that’s compelling and engaging so that it sticks and you have to spend less of your day fielding complaints. (Like we hear from a lot of our customers they’ve had to do with their old training suppliers.)

Our platform is also equipped to send automated reminders to learners via email and Slack, meeting them where they are without forcing you to chase them down. 

Finally, we keep things short, easy to understand, and relatable, with inclusive, real-life scenarios that are relevant to your workforce and in line with your existing in-house DEI initiatives.  

Get invested in Ethena’s tools with our Equity 101 course

Are you ready to get your team equipped with all the tools they need to understand and take best advantage of your employee comp packages? Reach out to a member of our Sales team to schedule a demo today, cruise through the pricing page, or send yourself a sample of our Equity 101 training to see what all the fuss is about.

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