By Nathalie Voit

A greater share of companies in the U.S. are granting staff an equity stake in their business to acquire and retain top talent, according to a survey conducted by nonprofit equity compensation group Global Equity Organization (GEO).

The survey results showed that as much as one-quarter of North American companies plan to distribute stock grants soon as part of their long-term [employee] incentive programs (LTI).

“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 chief executive at GEO Danyle Anderson, according to Reuters.

“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.

Equity compensation packages are not the only perk businesses are offering to compete in today’s scarce labor market. 

Flexibility is no longer considered a “perk” for many employees but an expectation. Many employers have taken notice and adjusted their flexibility offerings.

“While organizations are competing with peers for talent, they are also contending with changing employee lifestyle preferences and ambitions,” noted senior director in the Gartner HR practice Piers Hudson. “Our research revealed 65% of employees report that the pandemic has made them rethink the role of work in their lives.”

Grant shares are just the latest signal that workers hold the upper hand in the post-pandemic economy.