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Morgan Stanley at Work’s Third Annual State of the Workplace Study Finds Equity Compensation a Key Driver of Employee Retention, While Helping Employees Meet Long-term Goals

Morgan Stanley at Work released today the latest findings from its third annual State of the Workplace Financial Benefits Study:

  • Achieving long-term goals grows to become most important benefit of equity compensation: Employee views of equity compensation as a driver of long-term investment goals increased to 28% (vs. 24% in 2022), followed by providing an extra source of income and giving a stake in the success of the company.
  • Keeping employees engaged: HR leaders (97%) and employees (84%) agree that having a benefits plan that includes equity compensation and stock ownership is the most effective way to motivate and engage employees.
  • Equity compensation continues to gain ground: More companies (72%) say they offer some form of equity compensation benefits to some employees (up from 68% in 2022 and 65% in 2021).

“In the decades of work we’ve done with clients, we have seen an evolution in how this benefit—once thought of as a one-time bonus—is now viewed more holistically within an employees’ overall finances as a key driver of long-term investing goals,” said Scott Whatley, Managing Director & Global Head of Equity Solutions at Morgan Stanley at Work. “As equity compensation continues to gain ground, this is a critical insight for employers to absorb, and help inform how they communicate, package and deliver equity compensation throughout their organizations.”

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

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 March 16th and March 22nd, 2023, by Wakefield Research (

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. Securities products and services are offered by E*TRADE Securities LLC, Member SIPC. In connection with stock plan solutions offered by Morgan Stanley at Work, E*TRADE Securities LLC and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC provide brokerage services to stock plan participants. E*TRADE Financial Corporate Services, Inc. and E*TRADE Securities LLC are separate but affiliated 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 42 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.

© 2023 Morgan Stanley at Work and Shareworks services are provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, member SIPC, and its affiliates, all wholly owned subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley.


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