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SALARY RAISES LIKELY TO DIP BELOW 5 PERCENT NEXT YEAR; VARIABLE PAY PROGRAMS GAIN, WYATT STUDY FINDS

 SALARY RAISES LIKELY TO DIP BELOW 5 PERCENT NEXT YEAR;
 VARIABLE PAY PROGRAMS GAIN, WYATT STUDY FINDS
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Average salary increases for U.S. employees should fall to 4.8 percent in 1993, down from 5.0 percent this year, according to a new 2,400-company survey by The Wyatt Company.
 "In light of continuing concerns about the economy, companies are extremely cautious in planning wage increases for 1993," said Marsha Cameron, leader of Wyatt's salary management consulting practice.
 "There is some good news for employees, however," said Cameron. "Inflation is at historically low levels, so net increases will be fairly healthy. Moreover, as companies move to adopt broad-based incentive programs, many employees -- particularly better-performing ones -- increasingly earn additional rewards outside the traditional salary structure."
 As in previous years, the projected average annual salary increase for executives is slightly higher than those of other employee groups. Executives can expect a 5.1 percent raise; salaried employees exempt from federal overtime regulations (typically middle managers and professionals) can expect a 4.9 percent raise; non-exempt salaried employees, 4.7 percent; and non-exempt hourly workers, 4.6 percent.
 Employees in the Pacific Northwest should get the highest salary increases (5.4 percent), while those in New England and the Great Lakes states can expect the lowest (4.7 percent).
 Greater variations were found by industry group. Planned increases range from 3.8 percent (primary metal manufacturers) to 5.4 percent (providers of business services).
 New variable pay programs planned
 "But while employers may be scaling back traditional pay plans, they are still concerned with rewarding good performance," said Cameron.
 "Increasingly, companies are adopting variable pay and alternative reward programs," she said. "The programs are being extended beyond management groups to include the rank and file."
 Nearly three-quarters of the survey companies have variable pay programs in place and 36 percent plan on implementing new programs in 1992. Among the programs are:
 -- Annual incentive or bonus plans: Sixty-three percent of companies have such plans in place for executives; 39 percent for exempt employees and 15 percent for non-exempt workers.
 -- Small group incentives: Such pay plans reward work teams or special project groups for meeting specified goals. Eight percent of companies report these programs, with about 6 percent expecting to implement a new plan within the next two years.
 -- Gainsharing plans: Under these plans, employees share in improvements in financial or operational performance. About 6 percent have such plans in place and the same number expect to implement new programs in the next two years.
 -- Spot awards/technical achievement awards: 15 percent of companies reward employees for specific individual achievements.
 -- Skill-based pay plans: Six percent of companies surveyed have such plans in place for non-exempt employees and a similar number plan to implement a new plan within the next two years. "Under these plans, employees are rewarded for the set of skills they bring to the job, rather than for the specific task at hand," said Cameron. "The aim is to build a work force capable of handling multiple tasks and adapting quickly."
 The Wyatt Company is an international consulting firm specializing in the areas of human resources, financial management and systems. The firm has 3,400 employees and offices in 69 cities worldwide.
 -0- 8/24/92 p
 /NOTE: Data on selected metropolitan and geographic regions, industry groups and employee categories is available./
 /CONTACT: Bob McKee, 202-508-4848, or Jennifer Eaton, 202-508-4842, both of The Wyatt Company/ CO: The Wyatt Company ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: ECO


IH -- DC007 -- 2571 08/24/92 12:02 EDT
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Date:Aug 24, 1992
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