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2021 ended with a tightening labor market and an increasing number of labor union activities. Following 2 years of pandemic-related health, economic, and supply chain disruptions, businesses are seeing the power shift back to employees. Companies like Kellogg's, John Deere, Amazon, and Kaiser Permanente all experienced labor union events last year.
The organized labor trend in 2022 looks to continue as a second Starbucks location recently unionized in Buffalo, New York. Yes, you read that correctly. Starbucks, the employer that built its foundation on a strong reputation as a well-paying, benefits-providing employer, is now finding its employees organizing over issues related to improved staffing, training, and pay.
If it can happen at Starbucks, it can happen to you. Here are 4 steps you can take to avoid labor issues in this tight market.
1. Get pay right
Compensation is going up. But, is it enough? It's more important than ever to get base pay right. With an ever-increasing amount of transparency and social sharing, employees are examining their compensation with a critical eye. Knowing that you are paying employees fairly can alleviate collective bargaining or other labor concerns, but make sure that your data represents recent market shifts.
Mercer’s robust compensation data has the most up-to-date information to give you a more complete picture of the competitive market. Whether you’re interested in general market, industry specific, or hourly pay data, Mercer salary surveys give you the confidence you need to build defensible reward structures.
2. Listen to employees
Employee needs and wants are different than they were a few short years ago. An annual employee engagement survey still provides valuable insights, but modern organizations need to listen to employees more than once a year. An employee pulse survey can fill that gap by generating real-time insights on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.
3. Take action
In recent years, flexible work has been a hot topic. The Flexible Working Policies & Practices Survey is designed to measure the options offered to your employees and provide you with insight into how your approach compares with those of other companies.
Mercer’s US New Graduate and Generation Z Compensation Report finds that the perks considered most important to Gen Z are different from those of previous generations. Primary caregiver, maternity/paternity, vacation, personal, and bereavement leaves are top priorities for many younger employees.
4. Test the effectiveness of change
Employee engagement is crucial to future success. The better you understand what causes your people stress, and how to give them peace of mind, the better positioned you are to evaluate the programs, rewards, and experiences your organization offers and to make adjustments.
The tight labor market and increasing labor union activity will continue for the foreseeable future. Make sure your company is in the best possible position. Mercer has the data, tools, and expertise to help you better understand what really matters in 2022 and beyond.
Contact Mercer at 1-866-605-1031 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.