Big U.S. companies are continuing to restructure their compensation and performance management systems to remain competitive amid tight labor markets, surging inflation and a rise in union activity.
On May 25, Apple Inc. said it will raise the starting pay for its U.S. employees to $22 per hour—or higher based on the market—a 45 percent jump from 2018 levels.
Also in May, Google said it is overhauling its performance evaluation process, implementing changes that will result in increased salaries.
In other recent corporate actions, Microsoft Corp. told workers it would almost double its global budget for merit-based salary raises, and Amazon said it was doubling its base pay cap for corporate staff.
SHRM Online has gathered the following articles on compensation changes at U.S. corporations.
Apple Increases Compensation Budget
Along with Apple increasing its overall compensation budget for 2022, some workers, including those hourly employees in its stores and with AppleCare, were told their annual reviews would be moved up three months and that their pay increases would take effect in early July. The review process normally coincides with the end of Apple's fiscal year in the fall.
(The Wall Street Journal)
Apple Workers Weigh Unionizing
Apple retail workers have started looking to unionize in a small number of stores, seeking higher pay and expanded benefits such as increased vacation time and improved retirement options. On May 25, Apple's head of retail, Deirdre O'Brien, sent a video message to retail store employees to address those efforts, arguing that while it is workers' right to join a union, there could be downsides for workers if they choose to do so.
Google Overhauls Performance Reviews
Google is using a new process for performance reviews, putting more responsibility in the hands of managers. There's also a new promotion system, allowing managers to complete a form assessing whether an employee has shown the skills required for elevation.
"Under this new process, we expect the majority of Googlers will be modeled for higher pay than they would under the old Perf system and the overall amount paid will increase too," said an internal document reviewed by CNBC.
"Googlers aren't expected to already perform next-level work to demonstrate that they're capable of next-level success," a document said. There will, however, have to be a business need for the promotion. "Googlers will then be considered for promotions if they demonstrate signals for success at that level of work."
Microsoft Increases Salary Budgets
Microsoft Corp. said it plans to "nearly double" its budget for employee salary increases and boost the amount of stock compensation it gives some workers by at least 25 percent in an effort to retain staff and help people cope with inflation.
The move, which will take effect in the fiscal year beginning July 1, will mainly affect "early to mid-career employees," the software firm said in a May 16 statement to employees, obtained by Bloomberg News.
Microsoft's salary package is made up of base salary, bonus and stock. The changes will apply to a substantial part of the company's workforce.
Amazon Raises Base Pay Cap
Amazon announced in February it is more than doubling its maximum base salary for corporate workers. The e-commerce giant said in an internal memo that it will now cap its base pay for corporate staff at $350,000, up from its previous maximum of $160,000.
In addition to base salary, the company's compensation package for executives and professionals includes a two-year signing bonus and, making up a large share of total compensation, restricted stock units that vest over time. Both will remain part of the pay plan, Amazon said.