ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Inflation is a top problem facing the country today, with many Americans showing concerns over the steady increase in prices for food, housing, gasoline, utilities and other goods. A new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Research Institute using the SHRM Voice of Work Research Panel found that inflation isn't just a concern among employees: Nearly 3 in 4 HR professionals (73 percent) reported similar concerns among their organizations—with the highest concentration being found in the industries of agriculture (97 percent), wholesale trade (95 percent), utilities and energy (82 percent), and manufacturing (82 percent).
"Employers recognize that inflation has a major impact on the well-being of their team," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM president and chief executive officer. "In fact, SHRM research found that 87 percent of those worried about inflation said their highest concern was the effect on the lives of their employees. But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to how organizations are handling the situation. While some employers are re-examining their strategy when it comes to pay, many others are unsure or not currently considering inflation as a factor in their annual pay raises, instead focusing on pay transparency, competitive compensation as well as the overall employee experience."
HR professionals reported their organizations' plans for factoring in inflation when granting annual pay raises for 2022. Though the lives of their employees were cited as their greatest concern, more than half of the participants surveyed are either not considering inflation (26 percent) or are not sure if inflation will be factored into annual pay raises (29 percent).
Of those who were aware of their organizations' plans for annual pay raises, 63 percent reported that inflation is being considered or accounted for in annual pay raises.
Other Key Findings
Concerns about inflation varied by organization size, with HR professionals in smaller organizations being more likely to be concerned:
- 81 percent of HR professionals in small organizations (less than 100 employees).
- 74 percent of HR professionals in medium organizations (100-499 employees).
- 67 percent of HR professionals in large organizations (500 or more employees).
Of those who indicated inflation was a concern at their organization, the highest concern was with how inflation would affect the lives of their employees:
- 87 percent: the lives of our employees.
- 70 percent: customers and consumers.
- 61 percent: suppliers and wholesale costs.
Small organizations were much more likely than large organizations to consider inflation for annual pay raises. Of the HR professionals who were aware of their companies' plans and reported that inflation is being considered in annual pay raises or accounted for based on standard cost of living adjustments:
- 76 percent were from small organizations.
- 65 percent were from medium organizations.
- 54 percent were from large organizations.
Using the SHRM Voice of Work panel, the SHRM Research Institute collected data from 1,150 HR professionals from May 10 to May 24, 2022. Data were weighted to be nationally representative of HR professionals in the U.S.
SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. More than 95% of Fortune 500 companies rely on SHRM to be their go-to resource for all things work and their business partner in creating next-generation workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at SHRM.org and on Twitter @SHRM.