Article from The Survey Group ()
September 20, 2017
Thinking Beyond Merit Increases


Bruce McLaughlin, Founder/CEO, The Survey Group

With organizations forecasting 2018 merit increases of approximately 3.0% for the 8th year running, what else can you do to reward and retain employees? According to TSG's 2017 Benchmark Compensation Survey, there isn't much variation among types of organizations with regards to merit budgets

So how else can you reward good performance?

If you're looking for an alternate to merit increases as an employee motivation tool, you may want to consider some type of variable compensation. Over half (54.3%) of the organizations responding to The Survey Group's 2017 Benchmark Compensation Survey have variable/short-term incentive compensation plans. Of those, the majority provide variable pay at all levels of the organization. Some of the more common plans include lump sum bonuses or individual incentive bonuses. The type of plan varies from organization to organization and is dependent on the performance measurements and long term goals set by each organization.

Full TSG members can get up-to-date compensation planning and practices data by participating in our 2018 Compensation Planning Survey. This survey provides the most comprehensive statistics for compensation planning and practices in New England, including short- and long-term variable pay practices, frequency of increases, lump sum payments and base pay philosophy. This survey also provides current and projected merit and salary increase budgets and structure movements.


To learn more about the TSG's surveys, or to discuss membership benefits, contact Terri Dignan at or 781-345-7530.

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