Before I started working for my publicly traded company, I knew a small, but significant amount about stocks. We have Ameritrade and Edward Jones accounts. Eric and I both have 401(k) accounts that we are quite "involved" with. However, I hadn't really ever followed stock prices on a regular basis. Now that I have stock options and am enrolled in our awesome perk of the employee stock purchase plan, I definitely follow our stock. It is getting a little better each day. I am crossing my fingers that it will hit $20 sometime soon. I may be waiting for awhile, but hopefully not. I definitely see how having these sorts of benefits as well as the return on assets bonus structure encourages employees to focus on the bottom line more than at other privately held companies I've worked for. I realize that the bottom line isn't all that matters (especially as my role in HR) but as a team, we are much more conscious of costs/spending when it directly impacts our pay.
GO STLD! :)