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The Compensation Best Practices Survey is Open to Participation

The CBPR 2021 survey officially out.

We are calling all compensation professionals, HR leaders, business owners and anyone else who manages compensation for their organization. PayScale’s annual Compensation Best Practices Survey is in its 12th year and now open to participation. The best part? It is free to participate and so is the report that we create from the answers participants supply. We just need as many organizations to participate as possible to ensure robust data for every question.

Take the CBPR 2021 Survey Now

There are a lot of questions. This survey is no joke. For compensation analysts that live and breathe data and surveys all day every day, it may not seem like much, but if you’re used to a 10 question pulse survey that takes less than five minutes to click through… this ain’t it. The Compensation Best Practices 2021 survey is over 100 questions in an ordinary year. In 2020, the year of COVID-19, the CBPR 2021 survey is 150 questions.

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Wondering what’s new? Well, for starters we have dedicated questions around the COVID-19 response. If we get enough participation, we will be able to supply you with data you can’t get anywhere else — broken down by company size and industry.  This includes questions like:

  • Did you have pandemic planning prior to 2020?
  • Has COVID-19 impacted your turnover rate in 2020?
  • Did your organization issue pay cuts, pay freezes, pay raise deferments, promotion deferments, bonus pay reduction, hazard pay, or benefits reduction?
  • Who did all of this impact specifically?
  • If you issued a temporary increase or hazard pay, how long was it in effect?
  • (there are more)

And so on.

Of course, that’s not all. We also have a dedicated new section on remote work, and specifically how remote work is impacting pay structures–or might do so in the future. This question may be bewildering to organizations who are new to remote work as a company strategy. They might assume (not incorrectly) that employees don’t get paid differently from working at home than when working in an office. But the bigger question is how an increase in permanent remote work positions across the country (or throughout the world) is going to shake up talent strategy. In the near future, many of your employees are going to have more opportunity to work for employers they never had a shot at before. At the same time, if you adopt a remote work strategy, you are going to have a larger candidate pool than you ever had to deal with. This means you will also be competing with organizations for talent in new ways, which might necessitate a new approach to talent acquisition and retention.

Today, most employers without remote work opportunities compensate their employees based at least somewhat on the location of their headquarters or offices. But increasing the amount of remote work opportunities you offer might require a change to your compensation strategy. If you want more details about how, check out PayScale’s How to Pay Remote Workers Report. If you want data on how other organizations are planning for this change in the future, answer our CBPR 2021 questions on remote work. These include:

  •  What percentage of your workforce is remote full time?
  • What are your top 3 business drivers for remote work?
  • What was your strategy for compensating remote employees in 2020?
  • What will be your strategy in 2021 (after the pandemic)?
  • For which occupations? (yes, seriously–this will really help you plan)
  • Did you pay out a stipend to remote employees in 2020?
  • What have you/will you invest in to support a remote workforce?
  • (and more)

Also, what about pay equity? Pay equity, both internal and external, has always been important to compensation management, but it has taken the spotlight in recent years and especially in 2020 surrounding public scrutiny of racial discrimination and social justice, of which the racial wage gap plays an important part. For organizations looking to invest more into Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the question of pay equity is critical. To that end, we expanded our questions around DEI to include the following:

  • How do you define pay equity?
  • Is pay equity important to your organization?
  • Does your organization have internal pay equity?
  • Does your organization have external pay equity?
  • Does your organization plan on conducting a race or gender pay equity analysis in 2021?
  • Do you have a gender or racial pay gap?
  • Is there representation in the C-suite of your organization?
  • Who gets DEI training in your organization?

And so on.

Given all the upheaval in 2020 and its impact on HR, we also have new questions related to compensation strategy, compensation data, compensation technology, and compensation structure. Some of these are critical intelligence to how PayScale better serves our customer base, but it’s also totally agnostic so that you can get a true and unbiased look at what other organizations are doing to modernize their compensation planning and processes regardless of whether or not your are a customer of PayScale. Here’s just a sample of the questions in this section of CBPR 2021:

  • Does your organization have a compensation team? How big is it? Is it growing?
  • When did your organization decide it needed a dedicated compensation function?
  • How often does your organization go through pay changes in a calendar year?
  • Who determines pay increases in your organization?
  • What sources do you use to obtain market data? How many do you use?
  • What is important to you about compensation software (generically)?
  • What percentage of jobs have a formal pay structure in your organization?

Of course, we continue to ask all of the questions that are trademark for PayScale’s Compensation Best Practices Report, including detailed questions around base pay increases and budgets, variable pay and total rewards.

  • Did you give base pay increases in 2020?
  • What did you budget for base pay increase in 2020?
  • Do you plan to give base pay increases in 2021?
  • What are the top reasons for giving base pay increases?
  • Does your company have variable pay as part of total compensation? (a surprising percentage of organizations do not)
  • What kind of variable pay do you offer (and for which occupations)?

Don’t worry. We didn’t forget about talent acquisition and retention. After all, if your compensation strategy isn’t increasing your candidate offer acceptance rates and lowering your employee attrition rates, what is the point of it? You want happy, engaged employees right? Naturally, the success of your compensation strategy depends on your pay communications and level of pay transparency. After all, employees can’t value what they don’t understand. Therefore, in CBPR 2021 we asked targeted question around employee engagement. We also ask employees, which allows us to calculate the Corporate Chasm between what employers believe to be true and what employees perceive to be true when it comes to compensation communications. Here are some examples of the insights we will be able to share:

  • What is your turnover rate?
  • Do employees know how to move up in their pay range in your organization? (right now, about 50% of organizations say no)
  • What do you do if you don’t have budget to get someone who has earned a raise to the next level?
  • How do you think employees perceive your pay brand? What about compared to candidates? (often, the employee experience is judged to be worse)
  • Why do employees leave your organization (also, new this year, why do they join?)
  • How frequently do you measure employee engagement? (and do you ask about compensation specifically?)
  • How do you reward and recognize top performers? (and not just sales people)
  • Do you pay more for competitive jobs?
  • Do you train managers on pay communications?
  • When do you share pay ranges in the talent acquisition and retention process?

And so on.

Again, there are 150 questions in the CBPR 2021 survey. The viability of our survey and the degree to which we can cut the data by industry and company size depends on the number of organizations who participate.

Although the survey is long, we have incentives for completing it! Everyone who makes it to the end of the survey will be entered into a a raffle to win a $200 gift card…and we can select more than one winner. In addition, if you SHARE PayScale’s Compensation Best Practices Survey on LinkedIn with other compensation professionals and HR leaders in your network using the hashtag #CBPRsurvey and #CBPR21, you will get MORE chances to win. We really want to encourage you to do this, so let us know what it’s going to take.

Follow PayScale on LinkedIn for more information.

You can also let us know (here or in social media) what data / questions you are really excited about to make sure we prioritize those in our reports.

In the meantime (and for a limited time), you can take a look at the Compensation Best Practices Report from 2020 to get a sense of the data last year. Some of it will change and some of it won’t. Because the survey is so long, we are looking to divide it up into multiple reports with cuts of the data by industry and company size. In addition, we will blog on insights from the report so you can get commentary and context for why this data is relevant throughout the year.

Are you excited? You should be. So are we.

Take the Compensation Best Practices Survey (CBPR 2021) now. 

Amy Stewart
Sr. Content Marketing Manager at PayScale
Read more from Amy

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