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Five Reasons You Should Participate in the Equity Incentives Design Survey

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April 20, 2021 | Barbara Baksa

Five Reasons You Should Participate in the Equity Incentives Design Survey

It was an emergency. The compensation committee was meeting the next day and had just decided that they wanted data on equity grant practices. The stock plan administrator was tasked with finding it.

She turned to aggregators of public filing data only to find that the data the compensation committee was looking for isn’t reported in public filings. Then she remembered that she had participated in a survey offered by the NASPP and she turned to me.

I was able to help because the NASPP and Deloitte Consulting LLP together publish the single most comprehensive series of surveys on trends and practices in stock compensation.

But I was only able to help because of the many companies like you that had taken the time to participate in the survey. Without your participation, the survey doesn’t exist.

Which is why I’m using my blog entry for this week to personally request that you participate in the 2021 Equity Incentives Design Survey, conducted by the NASPP and Deloitte Consulting LLP. Here are five questions that the survey will answer:

1. What types of equity awards are companies granting?

Are full value awards still the predominant vehicle used to deliver equity to employees? How common are performance awards and are stock options making a comeback? What about SARs—are any companies using these vehicles? The survey will answer all these questions and more.

2. And to which employees?

The survey will also report on which employees receive equity awards, which types of awards they receive, and, if they receive multiple types of equity awards, the mix of equity that companies commonly grant.

3. How do companies extend equity to their worldwide employee populations?

We’ll report on which countries companies extend their equity programs to and what types of equity vehicles they grant in those countries. Moreover, the survey will collect data on key practices, such as whether subplans are used, if grant sizes are adjusted based on cost of living or other factors, and if companies are utilizing locally qualified vehicles.

4. How have companies adapted their performance awards in light of the pandemic and related economic volatility?

This year is pivotal for the design of performance awards; our survey will help you assess whether your performance award program has kept pace with that of your peers’. We’ll provide an update on the types of metrics companies are using as well as key changes to the structure of awards and how performance is measured.

5. What are the latest trends in vesting schedules, retirement provisions, and dividends?

This survey can help you determine if your retirement provisions are competitive, over the top, or too stingy. We’ll also provide benchmarking data on other key features, such as which vesting schedules are most common, and how companies pay dividends on awards.

Newly Redesigned and Streamlined

This year’s survey is newly redesigned to take a holistic look at worldwide equity programs. We’ve also streamlined it for easier participation—I expect that most respondents will be able to complete the survey in less than an hour.

And So Much More

This is just a small sampling of the wealth of data the survey offers. We won’t conduct this survey again until 2024. Chances are, during the next three years, your manager is going to ask you a question that this survey will help you answer. Complete the survey now to make sure you’ll have access when you need it.

Don’t delay! You only have until May 7 to complete the survey. Please register to take the survey today (if you are a service provider, please encourage your clients to participate in the survey). I will be personally grateful.

- Barbara

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