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Marcia Rhodes, APR
Media Relations
WorldatWork
Phone: 202-315-5517 or 480-304-6885
E-mail: mrhodes@worldatwork.org
www.worldatWork.org


August 27, 2008

WorldatWork Survey Finds Telework on the Rise in the U.S., Canada
Analysis of Employee Retention Practices Shows Some Cross-Border Differences

August 27, 2008 — Washington, D.C. – Employers in both the United States and Canada deploy a similar mix of employee rewards programs to attract and retain talent in an ever-changing marketplace with diverse employee needs.

According to the 2008-2009 WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey, telework – among all surveyed total rewards programs – has shown the most significant 12-month increase in both countries. In contrast, the use of other employee rewards programs inched up only slightly in recent years, and a few even declined. See tables 1 and 2.

Telework grew considerably in the U.S., from 30 percent of organizations saying they offered it to employees in 2007 to 42 percent this year. In Canada, the increase was even more significant, from 25 percent to 40 percent.

“It’s been a perfect storm,” said Anne C. Ruddy, CCP, president of WorldatWork. “Rising gas prices, leading-edge technology, and the push for work-life flexibility have all come together in the past 12 months to create a pretty dramatic increase in telework across the U.S. and Canada.”

A comparison of rewards practices in the U.S. and Canada noted a number of similarities, as well as a few differences:

  1. Part-time employment with benefits: Offered by 38 percent of employers in Canada and 37 percent of employers in the U.S.
  2. Retention bonuses: Grew from 27 percent in 2004 to 38 percent in 2008 in the U.S. with similar growth in Canada
  3. Sign on/hiring bonuses: On the rise in both the U.S. (70 percent) and Canada (51 percent)
  4. Stock grant programs: Growing in both countries, though experiencing more rapid growth in the U.S. from seven percent in 2004 to 20 percent this year
  5. Stock option programs: Declining in both countries
  6. Spot bonuses: U.S. employers are more apt to pay spot bonuses: 45 percent compared to 34 percent of Canadian employers in 2008
  7. Pay rates: 31 percent of U.S. employers pay above market compared to 25 percent in Canada
  8. Merit increase budgets: 16 percent of Canadian organizations report larger merit increase budgets in 2008 compared to 9 percent in the U.S.

Table 1.  Programs Used to Attract and Retain Employees in the U.S.

 

 

2004
(n=2,308)

2005
(n=2,286)

2006
(n=2,251)

2007
(n=2,136)

2008
(n=2,288)

Sign-on/hiring bonus

61%

64%

69%

70%

70%

Employee referral bonus

63%

63%

65%

66%

69%

Market adjustments/increase to base salary

55%

60%

64%

65%

65%

Flexible work schedules

--

--

--

62%

63%

     Flextime

--

--

--

--

51%

     Compressed work week

--

--

--

--

27%

     Telecommuting/telework

--

--

--

30%

42%

     Job sharing

--

--

12%

14%

13%

Spot bonus (individual)

43%

43%

45%

46%

45%

Retention/stay bonus

27%

30%

35%

38%

38%

Part-time employment with benefits

--

--

28%

32%

37%

Paying above market

25%

28%

30%

29%

31%

Stock option program

27%

25%

24%

23%

22%

Stock grant programs

7%

10%

16%

21%

20%

Project milestone/completion bonus

16%

17%

18%

21%

18%

Special cash bonus/group incentives

17%

19%

20%

20%

19%

Separate salary structures

13%

12%

13%

15%

15%

Exempt overtime pay or time off

14%

15%

13%

14%

14%

Larger merit increase budgets

7%

9%

10%

11%

9%

Phased retirement

--

--

4%

6%

6%

Paid sabbaticals

3%

3%

2%

3%

3%


Table 2. Programs Used to Attract and Retain Employees in Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004
(n=213)

2005
(n=210)

2006
(n=207)

2007
(n=195)

2008
(n=227)

Market adjustments/increase to base salary

58%

56%

65%

64%

66%

Flexible work schedules

*

*

*

62%

64%

     Flextime

*

*

*

*

58%

     Compressed work week

*

*

*

*

30%

     Telecommuting/telework

*

*

*

25%

40%

     Job sharing

*

*

12%

17%

19%

Employee referral bonus

46%

47%

48%

51%

61%

Sign-on/hiring bonus

44%

44%

51%

50%

51%

Part-time employment with benefits

*

*

34%

32%

38%

Retention/stay bonus

26%

27%

30%

37%

37%

Spot bonus (individual)

27%

28%

30%

30%

34%

Paying above market

28%

35%

30%

31%

25%

Stock option program

28%

24%

23%

28%

23%

Project milestone/completion bonus

17%

20%

23%

42%

23%

Exempt overtime pay or time off

19%

21%

20%

18%

19%

Larger merit increase budgets

5%

9%

12%

16%

16%

Special cash bonus/group incentives

13%

14%

16%

17%

14%

Separate salary structures

9%

7%

10%

9%

13%

Stock grant programs

8%

5%

9%

13%

13%

Phased retirement

*

*

6%

8%

8%

Paid sabbaticals

6%

3%

3%

4%

5%


About the Survey:
Survey data was collected in April 2008 with a 3 percent margin of error. Survey respondents were WorldatWork members employed in the HR, compensation and benefits departments of mostly large North American companies. The WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey is the most comprehensive salary budget survey with more than 2,700 organizations representing 13.6 million North American employees.

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