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April 03, 2024

Pearl Meyer Survey Shows Companies are Taking Steps to Introduce AI in the Workforce

Sixty percent have or plan to develop a change management strategy and almost 20% are thinking about executive compensation incentives. 

BOSTON—April 3, 2024—Executive compensation and leadership consultancy Pearl Meyer has released results from a new survey looking at how AI is impacting organizational structure, change management, employee communication, and corporate goals.

Thirty percent of respondents have added AI as an additional area of responsibility to an existing executive role, and 9% have either promoted an executive from within or made an external hire. Roughly one-third (32%) are taking a decentralized approach to AI oversight, indicating they expect AI efforts will be led by various leaders across multiple functions in the organization.

“Based on the survey as a whole, we see companies are clearly at different stages of AI evaluation. However, the data show many are actively making leadership decisions and talking with employees about the impact of AI on the company and the workforce,” said Susan Sandlund, managing director and leadership practice lead at Pearl Meyer, and co-sponsor of the survey. “A good number have already begun to develop their change management strategies—and even more are planning to. This is certainly a good finding, but given the transformative potential of AI, a change management plan is critical and should be the first priority. Done correctly, it can help avoid missteps and it might alter how you later think about leaders and what you say to your employees.”

The survey’s employee communication questions show one-third of respondents are talking in general terms with their workforce about AI, 24% are sharing thoughts about how AI might affect the organization’s strategy and goals, and 10% are specifically addressing how it might impact the workforce plan and/or individual jobs.

“We certainly expected to see some level of employee discussions taking place, if for no other reason than the pervasiveness of the AI topic over the last year,” said Jan Koors, senior managing director at Pearl Meyer and co-sponsor of the survey. “Somewhat surprising, but positive, is that while just 6% of executive teams or boards have had discussions about including AI-related goals in short-term or long-term incentives—or both—an additional 13% say it is on an upcoming agenda. This points to the anticipated importance of AI, as well as to the fact that more and more companies are recognizing that non-financial metrics can have a role to play in driving business strategy.”

Other Key Findings

  • 22% of respondents say they are not currently evaluating AI and 26% are not talking about AI with their workforce
  • 25% of organizations do not believe the adoption of AI will require a change management strategy
  • 40% have either made significant AI investments (e.g., software licensing, consulting expertise, hiring, etc.) in this year’s budget cycle or expect to in FY25


The Pearl Meyer Quick Poll “AI’s Impact on Organizational Structure and Investments” was conducted online between February 26 and March 8, 2024 and had 142 responses from board directors, c-suite members, or HR executives

About Pearl Meyer

Pearl Meyer is the leading advisor to boards and senior management helping organizations build, develop, and reward great leadership teams that drive long-term success. Our strategy-driven compensation and leadership consulting services act as powerful catalysts for value creation and competitive advantage by addressing the critical links between people and outcomes. Our clients stand at the forefront of their industries and range from emerging high-growth, not-for-profit, and private organizations to the Fortune 500.

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