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COVID-19’s Impact on Compensation and Benefit Programs Survey

As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded over the past six months, many organizations have been forced to evaluate, and in some cases, implement compensation, benefit and workforce changes in response to the challenges of the pandemic. During this time, The Survey Group (TSG) heard from many clients looking to gain a better understanding of what other businesses were doing so that they could make market-guided decisions. In response to these inquiries, TSG launched the 2020 COVID-19 Impact Survey with the goal of gaining insight into what degree organizations have or are planning to adjust their workforce, compensation and benefit programs in light of the pandemic.

The survey report, which was published in September, contains data from 141 New England organizations, representing employers of different sizes and across a wide range of industries. We are pleased to provide some highlights from this report:

  • 57% of the organizations stated that they have implemented and/or are considering implementing cost saving measures tied to workforce or compensation reductions.
  • When it comes to reductions to the workforce, the majority of employers making changes reported that they have already done so with less than 10% reporting they are still considering making reductions in 2020.
  • The delay of annual base pay increases is the most common reduction that has been made to compensation programs in 2020 with considerably less employers considering reductions to their bonus programs.
  • Only 26% of employers reported that they have implemented hazard pay in 2020. The findings reveal that the leading reason for paying hazard pay is to reward employees who had to report to the workplace while others were able to work from home.
  • Of those struggling businesses that did report making changes to their benefit programs, 72% of them accomplished this by making cuts to the retirement benefits.
  • Despite facing unprecedented challenges, many organizations have taken, or are considering implementing enhancements to their benefit programs in 2020 in order to protect the health, work-life balance and financial wellbeing of their employees.

If you wish to become a TSG member and receive a full copy of this survey, as well as all of the annual compensation and HR surveys that TSG conducts each year, please contact Terri Dignan, Manager of Members Services, at terrid@thesurveygroup.com.

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