Morgan Stanley at Work Unveils Equity Compensation Findings from Second Annual State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study

  • Views of equity compensation as a top tactic for employee engagement and retention increased year over year
  • Employer views of equity compensation as a key tool for employees to meet long term goals also increased from 2021

NEW YORK--()--Morgan Stanley at Work today released the latest findings from its second annual State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study focused on the financial benefits, perceptions, and role of equity compensation among employers and employees in the workplace.

  • The perceived importance of equity compensation increased from 2021: 95% of HR leaders (up from 92% in 2021) and 80% of employees (up from 75% in 2021) agree that equity compensation and stock ownership is the most effective way to motivate employees and keep them engaged.
  • Its perceived role in meeting long-term financial goals also increased: HR leaders identified the greatest benefit of equity compensation as helping employees meet long-term goals such as retirement, ousting last year’s top choice of providing a stake in the success of the company.
  • Employee views are more divided, however. Employees equally chose “It helps meet my long-term investing goals” and “It gives me a stake in the company” as the top benefit of equity compensation.

“We’re seeing that many employees are increasingly paying closer attention to their benefits, especially with labor and expertise in high demand,” said Scott Whatley, Managing Director & Global Head of Equity Solutions, Morgan Stanley at Work. “Our study shows that equity compensation continues to be an effective strategy for employers to attract highly mobile talent in this labor market. It’s encouraging to see that the views of equity compensation have evolved dramatically from being thought of as simply a bonus, to now being viewed as a key input in planning for and meeting long-term financial goals like retirement.”

Additional details are available in Morgan Stanley at Work’s State of the Workplace Study, available here. As part of a series of findings from Morgan Stanley at Work’s second annual study, the business also published its findings on financial benefits, financial wellness and retirement.

Methodology: The data from the Morgan Stanley at Work Employees Survey and HR leaders Survey comes from a survey of 1,000 U.S. employed adults and 600 HR leaders for companies. The survey was conducted on behalf of Morgan at Stanley at Work using an email invitation and an online survey between July 13th and July 19th 2022, by Wakefield Research (

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About Morgan Stanley at Work
Morgan Stanley at Work offers a suite of financial solutions, which spans Equity Compensation through Shareworks and E*TRADE Equity Edge Online, Retirement and Financial Wellness Solutions. Morgan Stanley at Work combines cutting-edge planning and Morgan Stanley intellectual capital and financial education delivered through multiple channels to enable employees to build a holistic plan to achieve their financial goals. Shareworks services are provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC, and its affiliates, and Equity Edge Online® employee stock plan solutions are offered by E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc., both are parts of Morgan Stanley at Work and all wholly owned subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley.

About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is a leading financial services firm that provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses, and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, cash management and lending products and services, annuities and insurance, retirement, and trust services.

About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the trade name of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, a registered broker-dealer in the United States.

© 2022 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.


Media Relations: Katrina Clay,; Lindsey Madnick,


Media Relations: Katrina Clay,; Lindsey Madnick,