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Posts Tagged “2013 Compensation Forecast”

Compensation Committees

Compensation committees are an appointed group of individuals that have corporate governance over compensation and benefit programs for executives and company officers. The committee is typically chaired by the CEO and composed of both inside management directors and outside independent directors. Their work includes determining the types of pay plans, the amount of compensation and the performance measures that the executives will be upheld to in regards to the calculation of incentives.

Compensation committees play a strategic role within the business by aligning company performance and executive rewards. Individuals within the committee must create a compressive program, with the aid of compensation surveys and consultants, which motivates executives to achieve the overall goals and objectives of the company within their own positions. High performance is best achieved through the implementation of a strategic merit pay program, short and long term incentive plans including stock awards, retirement, and executive perquisites.

In addition to strategy, compensation committees also play an administrative role. They are responsible for completing studies, evaluating alternative compensation plans and outlining the compensation package. Compensation Committees often times have oversight over complex human resources issues such as equal opportunity and pay, executive succession planning, and director evaluation issues. How much oversight Compensation Committee has depends on many factors including composition of the committee, management engagement, corporate culture, and regulatory environment.

Over the years, executive compensation has become a rather large issue in the media. There are numerous media watchdogs that have the ability to relay information to the public more quickly than ever before. In addition to increased media attention, executive compensation has also seen tighter government regulation. Committees must accurately address the expectations of board members and investors. To keep investors happy, the executives must stay motivated to achieve the established business goals and objectives. Therefore, committees have an extremely important role in designing merit pay programs.

An effective executive compensation program will include performance evaluation that is both measurable and well communicated. The rewards for delivering results need to be meaningful to executives and competitive with what other businesses in the marketplace are offering. At WageWatch, our Executive Compensation Survey and Compensation Consultants can you’re your Compensation Committee to establish a budget for salary changes, benefits and merit pay, including any bonuses or incentives. We have the experience and capability to collect data for compensation surveys, salary reports and other studies in a wide variety of industries. To learn more about how our compensation surveys can help you to develop effective and competitive compensation strategy, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9246 or contact us online.

 

WageWatch Wage and Employment Forecast for 2013

LODGING INDUSTRY 2013 WAGE FORECAST

The WageWatch 2013 survey of over 6,000 hotels nationwide in our database shows planned pay raises for hourly employees and non-exempt salaried employees averaging 2.8% with a median of 3.0% and a mode of 3.0%. The annual survey completed on January 7, 2013, further disclosed that hotels are planning on similar pay raises for their salaried exempt employees, with a mean of 3.0%, median of 3.0% and a mode of 3.0%. Randy Pullen, President and CEO of WageWatch stated, “For the lodging industry, 2013 will feel a lot like the 1993 movie Ground Hog Day starring Bill Murray, as WageWatch forecasts that pay raises for all sectors of the lodging industry will repeat raises experienced in 2012.”

If the planned wage increases for 2013 are further broken down between full service hotels and limited or focused service hotels, the survey discloses that full service hotels will, in general, have slightly higher pay increases.  Full service hotels participating in the 2013 survey disclosed an average planned pay raise of 2.9% for hourly employees, with a median and mode of 3.0%. Focused service hotels had a slightly lower average pay raise for hourly employees of 2.8% with a median and mode of 3.0%.  For salaried exempt employees, both full service and focused service hotels reported planned wage increases averaging 3.0% with a median and mode also of 3.0%.

Randy Pullen also stated, “While hotel companies are planning on pay raises of between 2.8% and 3.0% for 2013, it is likely that actual wage increases that will be reported later this year by WageWatch in its 2013 hotel wage survey will be two or three tenths of a percent less than the forecast.  We saw a similar trend last year where actual wage increases for the lodging industry as reported in our iBrief Blog of October 24, 2012 Industry 2012 entitled Wage Increases- Part 1, were lower than the forecast, coming in at 2.6%.”

LODGING INDUSTRY 2013 EMPLOYMENT FORECAST

This year will see continued employment growth in the Accommodations segment of the Leisure and Hospitality super sector as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. saw significant gains in employment for the Lodging Industry the first half of 2012 as indicated in the following table:

 

WageWatch had forecast employment growth seasonally adjusted on average of 25,000 jobs in 2012 vs. 2011.  As the year progressed, hoteliers became more conservative and did not hire as many seasonal workers during the summer months, which pulled down the average for the year.  WageWatch attributes the pullback directly to the political uncertainty of the election year and the looming fiscal cliff impasse at yearend. This conclusion is based on the continued strong economic recovery that the industry experienced in 2012, which should have translated into more employment gains.

Our forecast for last year of a 25,000 increase in employment was based in part on the PKF Hospitality Research, LLC’s national econometric forecast of the U.S. Lodging markets for 2012.  Actual performance for 2012 was better than forecast by PKF, with 61.5% occupancy, a 1.6% increase over 2011 yearend 59.9%.  Actual Average Daily Rates came in slightly lower than forecast. Overall, RevPAR increased by 6.8%.  Net operating income was forecast to increase by 12% for 2011 over 2010, a strong performance on the back of an 18% increase for 2010 over 2009. This level of growth in the lodging industry should have supported an increase of 25,000 jobs in 2012.

Looking ahead to 2013, most leading economists are forecasting continued slow but steady growth of the U.S. economy in the range of 2.0% or better. Expectations are for slow growth the first part of 2013 with stronger economic growth the second half of the year. This should result in continued growth for the lodging industry. Smith Travel Research is forecasting an increase in occupancy of 0.3% and an Average Daily Rate increase of $4.86 for the lodging industry, with RevPAR increasing by 4.9% for 2013.  PKF Hospitality Research is slightly more optimistic with a RevPAR increase of 6.0% for 2013. Overall, the improving Average Daily Rate and occupancy numbers for the lodging industry will lead to stronger income statements for hotels, with net operating income growing by double digits in 2013.

Based on continued economic growth in the U.S. with the economy strengthening midyear and strong financial performance forecasts for the lodging industry for the year 2013, seasonal employment should increase significantly this summer with the Accommodations segment rebounding strongly, with employment growth of 20,000 jobs for the year. This will bring employment levels slightly above yearend 2008 levels, but still 50,000 jobs below the peak for yearend 2007.

 

Posted in Wage Forecast on January 9th, 2013 · Comments Off on WageWatch Wage and Employment Forecast for 2013

WageWatch Looks Ahead to 2013

 

The New Year began with our political leadership in Washington, DC finally reaching an agreement on a permanent tax cut for 98% of Americans.  No longer will it be known as the temporary Bush tax cuts. It was not pretty to watch, but it was instructive. It marks the first of many more compromises that will be made during the year to begin the process of reigning in deficit spending and stabilizing our Nation’s debt crisis.

What does this mean to the U.S. economy and to employment for 2013?  Essentially, it is good news. This should not be as a surprise for most of our readers, but it probably means more of what we experienced in 2012.  A slow growing economy with employers cautiously hiring for critical positions, while trying to understand how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obama Care, will impact their costs and employee insurance plans.

Most economists agree with this scenario of slow growth with the possibility of the economy picking up speed later in the year if the private sector gains confidence in the future stability of the U.S. economy.  WageWatch will have more to say about the economy and the impact it will have on this year’s wage increases for the hotel and gaming industries when we publish our Employment Forecast 2013 next week. The forecast is based on our survey of over 4,000 properties late last month.

Looking at other trends for 2013, clearly, the ACA has garnered the most headlines during the year.  As we have previously reported, if you are a small business with 51 or more full time employees, you will be fined $2,000 per employee, excluding the first 30 employees, if you do not offer insurance for employees that work an average of 30 or more hours each week. For small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, there is no penalty. Small businesses of all sizes are also not required to provide insurance for part-time employees. We are already beginning to see examples of employers cutting back on the number of fulltime employees by reducing their hours. Also, look for small businesses with more than 50 employees to reduce their workforces or change the structure of their companies.

One bit of good news is the IRS ruled this past Monday that affordability does not extend to fulltime employees’ families. Under ACA, employers will have to offer insurance that is certified affordable only to employees. To be certifiable as affordable, the premium for each employee’s plan cannot exceed 9.5 percent of their total household income. If the insurance coverage doesn’t meet the affordability law, employees will be offered tax credits to purchase insurance on their own. Business owners will then have to pay whichever is less: $3,000 per employee that receives the credit or $2,000 per employee, excluding the first 30 workers.

Finally, WageWatch welcomes our newest employee, Debra Anundson, who joined us on January 1st as our new Manager of Compensation Analytics.  Debra was with Interstate Hotels & Resorts for 22+ years, where she served in many capacities in Compensation and Benefits at the corporate office, managing all facets of their compensation, health & welfare and retirement benefits.  She created salary structures for exempt and nonexempt positions in all divisions as well as the corporate headquarters.  You can read more about Debra in the press release.

WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with over 6,000 properties in our database participating in its PeerMark™ Wage survey. WageWatch also conducts compensation surveys the healthcare, staffing and non-profit industries. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes.

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Business

The Affordable Care Act is already causing much confusion for American companies as well as for the general public. The law, as passed, was over 2,500 pages long and will require thousands of additional pages of regulatory policy in order to be enacted.  As we enter the year 2013, there will be many more changes to healthcare as the new law and the regulatory policies surrounding it take effect. As the provider of employee benefits, business owners need to fully understand the impact that the Affordable Care Act will have on their business and their employees over the next few years.

The professionals at WageWatch would like to share the following refresher on some of the most important policies within the Affordable Care Act:

1. Small business owners will receive a tax credit on their contribution to employee insurance policies. For businesses with less than 10 employees, each with average wages under $25,000, they will receive a 50 percent tax credit on their contribution. These tax credits apply to all small businesses up to 50 employees with average wages of $50,000, although the credit is reduced on a sliding scale depending on the businesses size and average salary.

2. Beginning in the year 2018, the Affordable Care Act will impose a 35 percent tax on employer provided health insurance plans that exceed $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for coverage of a family. The idea behind this policy is that business owners will aim to avoid expensive insurance policies known as Cadillac Plans, and insurance companies will be forced to modify coverage with an eye to keeping costs down.

3. If you are a small business with 51 or more full time employees, you will be fined $2,000 per employee, excluding the first 30 employees, if you do not offer insurance for employees that work an average of 30 or more hours each week.  For small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, there is no penalty. Small businesses of all sizes are also not required to provide insurance for part-time employees.

4. Business owners must offer insurance that is certified affordable to employees. The premium for each employee’s plan cannot exceed 9.5 percent of their total household income. If the insurance coverage doesn’t meet the affordability law, employees should be offered tax credits to purchase insurance on their own. Business owners will then have to pay whichever is less: $3,000 per employee that receives the credit or $2,000 per employee, excluding the first 30 workers.

5. Businesses with less than 100 employees that work an average of 25 or more hours per week are eligible for grants to start wellness programs. These programs encourage employees to take control of their health by living more healthy lifestyles, which helps to prevent harmful health conditions down the road.

It is clear from just the five points above, that much is still to be determined before implementation can take effect. Please stay tuned as we will continue to provide you with updates on ACA as more information becomes available.

The experts at WageWatch want you to know how important it is to be aware of the new policies under the Affordable Care Act and their effect on small businesses. Employers need to properly plan for the future by developing accurate budgets that take the changing costs of healthcare benefits into consideration for the year 2013 and beyond. For assistance with your budget, WageWatch offers cost-effective reports, including salary, wages and benefits survey data. To learn more about the services provided by WageWatch, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.

 

Posted in Regulatory & Legal Updates on December 12th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Business

Not All Salary Surveys are Created Equal

With traditional annual salary surveys, the process of data collection starts when the survey opens. The opening is followed by a window of time that is typically two to four months, and sometimes as long as six months. This survey window depends on the industry and number of positions surveyed, for which survey participants would report their payroll data for incumbents. At the end of the collection period, the survey closes and no additional survey participation can occur until the following year when the survey cycle is completed and the survey reopens. The date the survey closes to participation is referred to as the survey’s effective date.

Once the survey closes, the wage data is manually cleaned, analyzed, and the findings formatted into a compensation benchmark report. Building the report in this manner can take an additional two to three months and for some compensation surveys up to six months. Once the report is complete, it is made available to participants and is on sale until next year’s compensation report is published.

The traditional annual compensation survey, by design, reports last year’s data. Compensation professionals know the value of using the most update-to-date market data available to conduct their benchmarking and wage analysis.  WageWatch has responded to this need with salary surveys and benefit surveys that collect and report the most current data – never last year’s data. HR directors and compensation managers know the effective date for each participant. This approach creates a survey platform that is dynamic, never closes, and reports the most current market data available.

WageWatch uses the next generation methodology based on a 365-day subscription period that allows participants to continually update data and report findings during the year. WageWatch defines the effective date as the date on which wages are internally updated in an organization’s payroll system. WageWatch’s survey platform is dynamic and not static as are traditional annual salary surveys. While Wagewatch does have a close date for its compensation surveys, which would normally be referred to as the effective date in a traditional survey, this is a soft close date.

Because our surveys are dynamic compensation surveys, we continue to accept participants’ wage data after the close date of the survey.  Users can subscribe after the soft close date, enter their data and create their own custom reports all in the same day.  WageWatch reports allow you to select an entire market to compare your in house salary data, or you can select as few as five competitors you select to compare your salary data. This report is known as the WageWatch PeerMark™ Survey report.

Posted in Survey Reports on December 5th, 2012 · Comments Off on Not All Salary Surveys are Created Equal

Employee Health Benefit Trends to Watch for in 2013

Employee health benefits will continue to be an important issue to both employers and employees in 2013. With the election behind us, employers are looking to the future and working to determine the impact that recent healthcare reform will have on their business. In 2013 businesses will work to establish a balance between working within the regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) while attempting to keep the costs of employee health benefits down.

Even with the rising costs of healthcare, many employers remain committed to providing their employees with attractive and comprehensive healthcare benefits. After reviewing benefits survey data, along with the healthcare coverage trends of 2012, the following predictions can be made for 2013:

Rising Costs

As healthcare costs have risen over the years, employers have been faced with the constant struggle of providing adequate healthcare benefits while keeping within their set budgets. According to benefits survey data, employers are budgeting with the expectation that healthcare costs will rise about 7 percent in 2013. To offset this rise in costs, many employers will raise insurance premiums by an average of 5 percent.

New Healthcare Plan Options

The majority of employers in 2013 will offer high deductible plans as a healthcare coverage option. Many of these plans will include a health savings account, allowing employees to invest money free of taxes to pay for healthcare. These plans are a significantly less expensive option for employers, leading many of them to offer incentives with the plans. Approximately 43 percent of businesses surveyed plan to offer a $500 contribution into each employee’s health savings account for selecting a high deductible health plan.

Increase in Wellness Programs

Many businesses are encouraging employees to be proactive in improving their own health. Utilizing tools like wellness programs and incentives, employees are rewarded for improving health habits to avoid costly, preventable conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. According to benefits survey data, 61 percent of employers cited poor health habits as the largest challenge to providing affordable healthcare benefits. To counter this problem, 48 percent of employees plan on using incentives to increase participation in preventative health care programs.

These predictions, based on benefits survey data, will help assist businesses to develop the budget and plan for the changing costs of healthcare benefits for the 2013 year. For assistance determining future employee compensation, WageWatch offers cost-effective reports, including salary, wages and benefits survey data. To learn more about benefits survey data and other services provided by WageWatch, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.

 

*Data provided by the National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care.

Posted in Benefits & Compensation on November 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Employee Health Benefit Trends to Watch for in 2013

Benefits of Merit Pay

Merit pay is a pay for performance compensation strategy that provides base pay increases centered on demonstrated performance and desired outcomes. It not only rewards high performers for their additional contributions to the business, but also aims to retain key talent and rising stars. WageWatch has found that for 2012, 71% of 4,515 hospitality and lodging employers use merit as either their primary method for increasing base pay or in combination with other methods depending on the job title.

Merit programs need to be closely aligned with performance management systems and the compensation model. One way for HR to illustrate this alignment to management is with a merit matrix. The merit matrix is a decision making tool that combines an employee’s performance score and the position in the salary range to produce a merit pay recommendation. The merit matrix is used by department managers to plan and forecast their merit budgets.

The following are some advantages of adopting a merit based compensation system:

– The connection between individual effort and reward motivates employees to exceed expectations. Their performance is evaluated based on demonstrated ability and objectively according to measureable standards.

– Merit pay drives individuals to further develop skills that are important in succeeding in their role.

– Merit pay is a company’s investment in high performing employees. This investment encourages high performers to stay with the company. At the same time, the absence of reward for poor performance encourages this group to either improve or look elsewhere.

The widespread use of merit pay comes from the wide acceptance by employees that paying for performance is a fair and equitable way of rewarding individual contribution and high performance. When implementing a merit base pay system for the first time, it is critical that the performance evaluation criteria be valued, measureable, and well communicated. The rewards need to be meaningful to the employees and competitive with what others in the marketplace are paying their top performers.

Compensation surveys or salary reports from WageWatch can help you to establish a budget for salary ranges and merit pay, including bonuses and incentives. We are an innovative, cutting-edge organization that is constantly developing new ways to collect data for surveys and salary reports, which allows us to provide services to a wide range of industries. To learn more about our compensation surveys, salary reports and other services, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.

WageWatch Banquet Servers Compensation Survey

Banquet servers typically perform duties including hosting, waiting and bussing tables at events including weddings, conferences and fundraisers. Based on WageWatch’s 2012 Compensation Survey for over 5,000 hotels, banquet servers are the top non-exempt earners in terms of tips when compared to all other tipped positions in the industry. It appears that while banquet servers are well compensated; many hotels experience a very high turnover rate. At WageWatch, we questioned why this pattern was occurring, so we conducted a short compensation survey in order to gain a better understanding of the market for banquet servers and to determine the reasons behind this apparent anomaly.

The first question in this survey reads as follows:

If you compensate your Banquet Servers based on a set hourly rate of pay only (with no Gratuity Pool participation), do you pay your AM and PM banquet servers different rates of pay such as a shift differential?

The responses we received from 229 survey participants we’re as follow:

– 93.9% of respondents said they pay their banquet servers a set hourly rate, whether the shift was an AM shift or a PM shift.

– 6.1% of respondents said they do pay their banquet servers a shift differential. The average of shift differential was $1.53 per hour.

The second question in the survey reads as follows:

Does your Banquet Server compensation process include compensation out of a gratuity pool?

The following responses were received:

– About 2/3 of respondents stated that their banquet servers receive tips from a gratuity pool.

– Of the properties with a gratuity pool, on average, 32% is split amongst the banquet servers.

However, the average does not take into account the dispersion in the data. The gratuity pools ranged from 10% to a 100% split with a median of 15%.  With the median less than half the average, banquet servers appear to have opportunities to improve their potential earnings by changing properties.   In order to further understand the reasons for the high turnover rate, we have designed and will be distributing a follow-up compensation survey to develop a more thorough analysis of the banquet server turnover rates. Click here for the results.

WageWatch can help your business with cost-effective compensation surveys that will help you with hiring and budget planning by providing important information such as salary ranges, turnover rates and employee benefit packages. To learn more about our compensation surveys and other services, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.

Posted in Compensation Surveys on September 27th, 2012 · Comments Off on WageWatch Banquet Servers Compensation Survey