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

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."

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.

About WorldatWork® The Total Rewards Association

WorldatWork (www.worldatwork.org) is a global human resources association focused on compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork provides a network of more than 30,000 members and professionals in 75 countries with training, certification, research, conferences and community. It has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Washington, D.C.




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