Compensation Management in 2022 is indeed “interesting times”

by | Jun 21, 2022

  • Salary Survey season has two components.
    • Data collection by the survey firms in May.
    • Release/publication of survey results in October / November.
  • Plus, in October each year annual increase forecasts for the upcoming calendar year are posted by the survey firms. Our firm collects this data and forwards it to our clients.

Most of our clients augment annual COLA increases with a full Compensation Review / Salary Survey every three years. Since the labour market evolves and you can’t just rely on annual adjustments to stay competitive.

There is normally a fairly standard and consistent approach to this. The numbers have been at 2.0 / 2.5 % for several years. We rarely see this cycle interrupted, as we are in 2022. The last time was in the fall of 2008 when the market crashed after salary survey forecasts for 2009 had been collected.

Most of our clients plan payroll budgets in the fall of each year for their new fiscal years starting January 1 or April 1 of the following year. So right now, they have pay structures last updated by 2.5% in early 2022 – prior to CPI soaring to 6.8% in May. We are in a bit of a lull right now (June 2022) in terms of reactions to this, but things will ‘hit the fan’ this fall.

As an early indicator, the banks are moving. They are providing mid-year adjustments. Which in itself is not something we often see.

  • In May RBC announced a 3.0% midyear raise for lower and mid-level staff. Not to management.
  • TD Bank said in April it was giving a 3.0% raise to the majority of its employees.
  • Last week CIBC said it would increase pay in July by 3.0% for its first six job levels.

Whether or not this is the start of a trend remains to be seen.