‘Great Resignation’ sees more companies offer equity to staff By Reuters April 27, 2022 25% of North American companies to offer share grantsOver 40% of firms tracked workers’ locations amid COVID-19Some companies will adjust pay for those working remotely Companies in North America and Europe plan to give more employees an equity stake in their businesses to help retain talent amid a pandemic-induced “GreatResignation”, a survey showed on Wednesday. Global Equity Organization (GEO), a not-for-profit body tracking global share plans and executive compensation, said 25 percent of North American companies and 22 percent of European firms surveyed said they would make more share grants in the future as part of their long-term incentive programmes (LTIs). The global survey of 181 companies across 10 industries – including in technology, industrial and financial services – comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted more employees to quit their jobs and rethink their work-life balance. As concerns about wealth inequality grow amid an energy crunch and cost of living crisis, sharing profits could also have a positive impact on wider society. “By granting condition-linked shares to more employees as part of an LTI, companies are… supporting potential wealth creation for the longer term and helping to stop some workers living from paycheck to paycheck,” said Danyle Anderson, chief executive at GEO. “If this trend continues beyond the immediate future, the pandemic will have helped to lay the foundations of a more sustainable and equitable compensation system than during the whole of the last forty years,” Anderson said. Of the companies surveyed, 54 shared their budget for long-term incentive plans, worth a combined $6.6 billion. Despite the increased largesse, many companies said they were also paying close attention to where staff carried out their work and could use the information to change worker pay. Of the 119 companies that responded to a question about whether they had electronically tracked employees’ work locations during the pandemic, 42 percent said they had done so, mostly to ensure tax compliance, as many staff left the city for the countryside or to move closer to their families. Of the companies to track workers’ locations, 9 percent also said they had adjusted staff pay accordingly, particularly in cases where they were working from another state or country.