I had an interesting meeting yesterday with the founder of a company that is now approx 1/3 owned by the employees via an ESOP. In addition to the ESOP, he has also used the annual ESOP appraisal process to offer employees the opportunity to buy company shares directly, or sell their shares back to the company. A 30-day window is open for this every year following receipt of the ESOP valuation report.
There is no minimum number of shares required to participate. (Well, I guess we could say the minimum is ONE SHARE.)
Want to get more buy-in from employees? Let them buy in!