Total Rewards COVID-19 Recording: WorldatWork's Steve Boddy 5-28-20

In response to the rapidly developing coronavirus outbreak and its unprecedented impact to business and employers, i4cp has launched a series of weekly standing calls specific to Total Rewards leadership roles.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, total rewards leaders will be weighing many factors as they think about salary planning for 2021, such as unemployment figures and how the U.S. economy recovers from the damage wrought by COVID-19. Total rewards leaders from companies such as CoorsTek, Choice Hotels International and Mutual of Omaha gathered—along with special Q&A guest Steve Boddy, content director, total rewards at WorldatWork—to discuss this topic.

Some highlights:

  • Many organizations are taking a wait-and-see approach to salary planning for 2021. A recent i4cp instant poll of total rewards leaders suggested as much, with 58% of more than 50 total rewards professionals saying that no decisions have been made at their organizations with regard to salary planning for next year, and that all options are currently on the table. Another 26% saying their organizations will study market movement, and will likely follow their industry peers. As many participants noted on today’s call, there are various factors to consider when doing salary planning for next year, such as signals of economic recovery in the next few months as well as unemployment levels.
  • Hero or premium pay, which has become more commonplace in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, is likely to continue in some industries more than others. A number of companies, however, particularly in the retail sector—Kroger and Starbucks, for example—have either ended or will soon be putting an end to hero pay.
  • More than half of organizations, according to WorldatWork research—have already paid their salary increases for 2020, or still plan to pay such increases. For example, some are on a Sept. 30 fiscal year, so wage increases were effective on Jan. 1, 2020. Others have continued with union increases but have delayed merits in 2020 for salaried employees, or have continued with their 2020 merit processes for hourly, non-union workers.
  • At most organizations, salary reductions don’t appear to currently be on the table for 2021. In an instant poll of more than 50 total rewards leaders, i4cp found that 83% said their companies are not likely to reduce salaries next year. Another 10% reported that their organizations will definitely not reduce salaries in 2021.

In addition to this recording, please see these resources: