In his session at Bind 4.0, startup lawyer Xabier Alvarez gave several tips for retaining employees. They involve Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOP) and are based on giving out shares or part of the profits in exchange for staying longer at a company.

There are six possibilities:
1. Net Profit Linked Bonus, where no shares are given out and no revenue is generated for the employee if the company gets sold.
2. Stock Appreciation Rights, where money is paid if the value of the company increases upon the time.
3. Phantom Shares, where the employee has the advantages of being a shareholder without actually being one.
4. Vesting Systems (also called Stock Options), where the employee becomes a shareholder if he stays for a certain time at the company
5. Mirror Companies, in which employees become shareholders of an independent company which has a stake in the startup. The advantage for the startup is that it’s much easier to agree on things like a sale.
6. Direct delivery, where shares are sold to employees that the company wants to keep.