Dynamic Market Influencing Organizational Pay Structure Action

Data-Rich Survey on Compensation Programs and Practices Shows Orgs Are Increasing Frequency of Adjusting Pay Structures 

June 28, 2022

Scottsdale, Arizona — WorldatWork’s 2022 Compensation Programs & Practices Survey reveals that more organizations are adopting a formal base pay structure amid a tight labor market and increasing focus on pay transparency and equity.  

Nearly 90% of the 1,064 respondents said their organization uses a formal base pay structure and almost half of those without a structure are considering putting one in place. Additionally, 16% of organizations report increasing the frequency of adjusting pay structures in the past 12 months and 67% of organizations reported they are adjusting base pay structures once per year, which is a five-percentage point increase from 2021.  

The WorldatWork survey gathers information about trends in compensation programs and practices, focusing on the prevalence of base and variable pay programs, as well as common practices used to administer and communicate these programs in today’s workplace. 

“The value of this survey to comp practitioners is immense,” said Sue Holloway, CCP, CECP, director of compensation content at WorldatWork. “There is a need to stay on top of this dynamic market with real, actionable market insights about pay programs and practices, which this survey is chock full of.”

Sample Findings: 

  • Minimum wage movement. The number of organizations reporting they have jobs paid at or near statutory minimum wage rates declined significantly from 41% to 29%.    
  • Uptick in market pricing. 38% of organizations have increased the frequency of market pricing jobs in the past 12 months.
  • Limited variability for multinationals. Only 25% of organizations vary their compensation philosophy application by country or region and just 21% do so for performance management application.  
  • Increase in base pay variation. 20% of organizations cite an increase in the variation in pay increases between top and bottom performers in the past 12 months.  
  • More pay program evaluation. Only 8% of organizations say management does not evaluate pay program effectiveness, a 50% decrease in just one year.

About the Study

This is the seventh iteration of the Compensation Programs & Practices Survey, with the first survey launching in 2010. WorldatWork invited its broader membership base to participate in an electronic survey on base and variable compensation programs, policies and practices. A total of 1,064 responses were received, representing organizations of different sizes and across multiple industries. Email invitations were sent directly to participants on April 18, 2022, and results were collected during a 14-day period. The survey has a 3% overall margin of error at a confidence level of 95%. Sample sizes vary by question.

About WorldatWork  

WorldatWork is the leading global nonprofit organization for professionals engaged in the critically important practice of total rewards. We serve those who are responsible for cultivating inspired, engaged, productive and committed workers in effective and rewarding workplaces. We guide them in the design and delivery of total rewards programs with our education and certification; idea exchange; thought leadership; knowledge creation; information sharing; research; advocacy; and networking.

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