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Compensation planning during uncertain times

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This year’s pay planning cycle will no doubt be a challenging one. With all the workplace disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, executives, managers, and human resources professionals will face challenges in determining salary increases and bonuses.

Every year, The Conference Board of Canada conducts its Compensation Planning Outlook Survey to gather data on the current employment landscape across the country. The findings identify compensation intentions in various industries and sectors across Canada, and the outlook for pay and bonuses for the year ahead.

The 2021 Compensation Planning Outlook will help organizations understand how COVID-19 and the current economic environment will impact salary increases and incentive plan payouts across all levels of an organization—from entry level workers to executives.

“Compensation helps to attract and retain talent and is critical to the competitiveness and success of every organization,” says Allison Cowan, Director, Human Capital Research at The Conference Board of Canada. “The 2021 Compensation Planning Outlook will help organizations understand how COVID-19 and the current economic environment will impact salary increases and incentive plan payouts across all levels of an organization—from entry level workers to executives.”

A benchmarking report and resource guide, the Compensation Planning Outlook provides up-to-date data that is essential for organizations to secure the talent they need to succeed in a competitive marketplace.

Last year’s Compensation Planning Outlook included data from 326 organizations and represented more than 707,766 employees. Key findings from 2019 included:

  • The average non-unionized projected salary increase was 2.5%.
  • The highest projected salary increase by industry was pharmaceuticals and chemicals at 2.9%.
  • In 2019, the cost of short-term incentive plans averaged 11% of total base pay spending.

This year’s report will provide information about the current pay environment, non-unionized pay increases, incentive pay and plans, and current labour market challenges. It will also include analysis of the Canadian economy and look at different employee groups, industries, and regions of the country.

The Compensation Planning Outlook also includes information about pay for unionized employees and highlights the top negotiating issues that are likely to be brought to the table during the next round of collective bargaining.

COVID-19: Get all the insights

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