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Compensation and Beyond: Mid-Year Survey Highlights Employer Strategies

Despite continued inflation and reports of a looming recession, North American employers continue to focus on attracting and retaining key talent by enhancing pay programs and the full employee experience. The Willis Towers Watson 2022 Mid-Year Compensation Survey highlights pay strategies employers are taking to win employees and discusses the potential long-term implications of some these practices.

From a salary perspective:

  • Organizations are utilizing the full salary range with 86% reporting that new hires are being paid at the higher quartiles of the range.

  • Companies are examining their salary structures. 46% of those surveyed plan to adjust their ranges more aggressively than the norm; while 18% already made adjustments.

  • 7% began awarding more frequent pay increases with another 31% considering.

HR Policy Association recently surveyed members on this topic. Many members commented that salary budgets will be differentiated by business function and “hold back” budgets will be reserved for top talent. Full results can be viewed on our website.

Willis Towers Watson advises that companies should carefully consider the overall impact to the compensation budget and continue to evaluate compression and pay equity as well as review their overall compensation philosophy in context of their employee value proposition. Companies can also consider one-time payments versus a base pay increase, to reward without inflating the overall payroll budget. 

Compensation actions outside of salary included:

  • 81% of companies are offering sign-on bonuses; 65% offer retention bonuses primarily focused on critical talent while 82% report bonuses for managers and 80% for professionals. 71% of respondents cited digital employees as the most difficult to attract and retain, followed by professionals (66%) and hourly employees (61%).

  • Non-compensatory items were also indicated, with workplace flexibility topping the list. 84% of companies are meeting employee expectations by increasing flexibility in terms of where, when and how they work.  

In the Center’s July webinar, panelists discussed the importance of listening to employees and “getting creative” with rewards and the importance of the overall employee experience by thinking about what will be meaningful for your employee groups.  Undoubtedly, many employees will point to rising prices as the reason for expecting higher-than-normal increases so employers should consider all levers that help to engage and retain people. 

Published on: August 12, 2022

Authors: Megan Wolf

Topics: Executive Pay Plan Design

Megan Wolf

Director, Practice, HR Policy Association and Center On Executive Compensation

Detailed Bio

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