How Things Have Changed For CEOs Post COVID-19

Posted: June 29, 2021

Out of any year in recent memory, 2020 presented the most obstacles for leadership teams across all organizations. Throughout the year, it seemed as though every week brought new challenges that needed to be faced and rules that needed to be complied with. Now that the vaccine rollout has been successful, CEOs are excited for things to return to normalcy. But will everything really just return to the way that it once was? This article will take a look at a few ways that things have changed for CEOs post-COVID-19. Handling remote work A recent poll by Gartner shows that about 48% of employees are likely to work remotely at least part of the week after the pandemic, as opposed to 30% beforehand. Now that almost half of employees are expected to work remotely, upper management will need to adjust leadership styles to compensate for employees who are not consistently in the office. This will mean creating a more digital-friendly infrastructure, creating methods to hold digital employees accountable, and adjusting employee evaluations in a way that works for a remote atmosphere. More scrutiny over executive compensation packages Executive pay has been coming under scrutiny for a few years now as the CEO pay ratio has continued to grow. The ratio of CEO pay to worker pay grew to 227-1 in 2020 compared to 191-1 in 2019. This means that the average CEO earns $227 for every one dollar that the average worker earns. While these high salaries have been tolerated for years, many people felt that companies “shifted the goalposts” for their top executives in 2020 to help them meet their goals despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. While many workers were forced to take pay cuts in 2020, executives remained largely unaffected due to this shift and the services provided by Executive Compensation Consultants. An example of this was the lowering of revenue metrics halfway through the year once it became apparent that growing revenue in 2020 was no longer possible. While the virus was certainly out of CEOs’ hands, many critics have criticized companies for insulating top executives from the effects of COVID-19 while employees were left to be laid off or furloughed. Even though the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, CEO and executive compensation packages are likely to be scrutinized more heavily moving forward. Adaptability is key For almost all companies, it is very easy to sink into an everyday routine. However, the COVID-19 virus presented a black swan event that caught many companies unprepared. Almost overnight, companies in certain industries had to adapt the way that they conducted business in order to comply with safety regulations and stay afloat. Moving forward, there will most likely be a strong emphasis on crisis management, improving communication channels, and having emergency backup protocols in place in case of another pandemic-related event. These are all things that executive teams will need to brainstorm for so that they can be prepared for the next crisis. To learn more about maximizing executive compensation, visit our Contact Page, or contact us directly by email at or by phone at 415-618-6060.