Skip to main content
Survey Report

Actions to Restore Stability Survey

Highlights of key findings, CEEMEA

Executive Compensation|Future of Work|Talent|Total Rewards|Wellbeing

August 3, 2020

We examined actions that HR leaders are taking to address the impact of COVID-19 on work, rewards and the employee experience

About the survey respondents

Research findings are based on responses from 153 organizations in CEEMEA employing around 1 million employees. The survey fielded in the Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region between July 13 and July 31, 2020.

Respondent profile:

  • 61% multinational companies
  • 61% for profit, private
  • 28% for profit, publicly traded
  • 6% nonprofit/government
survey results
Actions to Restore Stability Survey Results


Organizations move forward, powering the employee experience and rethinking work and rewards

Our COVID-19 Actions to Restore Stability Survey explored how organizations are reprioritizing business performance and people objectives to achieve a sustainable reset of their business models.

Findings reveal that senior leaders are focused on protecting employee health and wellbeing, key aspects of the employee experience. Many employers say that they have sufficient budget to effectively deliver on their existing talent and reward programs, but fewer have the resources to adopt new technologies or add critical new programs.

Organizations are making adjustments to accommodate new protocols in response to COVID-19 but are also still determining what new ways of working will be required as they emerge from the crisis.

Employers report that the percentage of employees working from home has increased by over 33 percentage points – from 3% last year to 37 percent currently.  Fewer than half of those workers are expected to return to the  workplace after COVID-19 passes, leaving 20% of workers expected to continue working from home post-COVID-19 

While 57% of respondents expect the pandemic to have a moderate or large negative impact on business in the next six months, only 46% expect a similar impact over the next year.

As organizations manage through phases of the ongoing crisis, many are recalibrating strategies and programs tied to work, rewards and the employee experience. A dramatically reconfigured workplace and workforce will require agile leadership that effectively balances employee and business performance needs, supports new ways of working and powers new sources of organizational value.

  1. Managing labor costs

    • 67% of organizations have frozen or reduced hiring.
    • 44% have taken action on pay; another quarter (24%) are planning or considering taking such action.
    • One in three (32%) have taken at least one action on furloughs/alternative work arrangements.
  1. Changes to work

    • 76% of organizations are adjusting how work is done to accommodate new protocols.
    • 54% are making adjustments to the definition of the role of the workplace and what work should be primarily done onsite versus remotely.
    • 61% of employers are planning or considering developing policies and providing resources for employees who may work remotely long term, a quarter have already done so.
    • 14% of respondents have taken actions to offer employee subsidies to manage costs of working remotely.
    • One of four employers are making changes in order to move work to different jobs (26%) and to incorporate automation (31%).
  1. Employee Experience

    • Organizations with a positive impact on employee experience are more likely to report doing well on people dimensions, such as building trust and drive.
    • Senior leaders (48%) remain focused to a great extent on protecting employee health and wellbeing.
    • Most organizations say they have sufficient budget to maintain (87%) and effectively deliver (83%) existing programs, but fewer have budget to adopt new technologies (63%) or add critical new programs (67%).
  2. Sales Effectiveness and Rewards

    • Organizations give sales programs and policies middling marks for effectiveness in addressing COVID-19-related challenges.
    • Two thirds of organizations (64%) say their sales teams are connecting normally with customers and think sales management is effective in helping their sales force reorient to the new selling priorities

Executive compensation

Organizations have not made significant changes to key components of executive compensation.

  1. Executive incentives

    • Four in five organizations (80%) have not made changes to their executive or board succession plans.
    • Total Rewards, fair gender pay and wellbeing are the most cited topics that organizations’ compensation committee oversee.
    • Over two fifths (40%) of employers have already included environmental, social and governance related metrics into their executive incentive plans.
  1. Short-term incentive design

    • Half (53%) of the respondents are operating their annual incentive plan for executives on a broadly similar basis to last year.
    • One-third (35%) of organizations have taken action on their annual incentive plan; 27% are planning or considering changes.
  2. Long-term incentive design

    • 14% of employers have taken action on long-term incentive programs as a result of COVID-19’s impact while nearly one-fifth are planning or considering doing so.
  3. Total compensation framework - post-COVID-19

    • After COVID-19 and the subsequent economic impact, organizations are most likely to increase emphasis on liquidity.
Contact Us