March 18, 2014


Private Company Compensation Survey Results


Bertha Masuda
Partner Emeritus [email protected] 310-541-6233


The survey, based on 2013 survey data, provides a rare look at how private companies attract, motivate and incentivize their employees. Data includes hard-to-find statistics on the size and nature of short-term and long-term incentive pay practices, including the types of plans and vehicles used, as well as private company equity sharing ratios, liquidity, and valuation provisions. More than 190 participants from private, for-profit organizations responded to the survey.

Previously conducted in 2007 and 2011, this year’s incentive pay compensation surveys represent our third collaboration with WorldatWork. With this longitudinal data, we provide insight on the key compensation trends and explain the reasons behind them.

Compensation Trends: Privately Held Organizations:

  • More than 75% of companies with a short-term incentive plan offer more than one program, with 39% of respondents reporting four or more short-term incentive plans.
  • Annual Incentive Plans, the most prevalent short-term incentive plan at private companies, are offered to employees at the exempt, salaried level and above at most organizations.
  • In 2013, 56% of companies offered long-term incentive plans, down from 61% in 2011. Long-term cash plans are the most prevalent long-term incentive vehicle with 51% prevalence in 2013.