WorldatWork and Deloitte Release Results of 2019 Survey of Salary Structure Policies and Practices

January 22, 2019

January 22, 2019 — Scottsdale, Ariz. — The “2019 Survey of Salary Structure Policies and Practices” conducted by WorldatWork and Deloitte Consulting LLP reveals that market-based salary structures remain the most prevalent type of pay structure in use today (55%). Broadband structures, historically favored by organizations, is waning, with only 5% of organizations reporting use of this type of structure, as compared to 12% when the survey was last conducted, in 2012. 

Key Findings:

  • Market-based ranges continue to be the most prevalent type of salary structure used by organizations today
  • 18% of those surveyed use the pure market pricing approach (also referred to as “job-based pay ranges”) within their organization, while 11% use it exclusively to administer pay
  • The use of broad bands is down to 5% prevalence, a significant decrease from the 12% reported in the “2012 Survey of Salary Structure Policies and Practices”
  • 96% of organizations reported tying midpoints to the market median
  • 75% of participants reported they adjust their salary structures annually which is up from the 70% that was reported in 2012.

In this year’s survey, the pure market pricing approach (also referred to as “job-based pay ranges”) was also measured, with about 18% of organizations indicating they use this approach to guide pay decisions. This appears to be more prevalent for executive-level jobs than lower job levels. Eleven percent (11%) of organizations reported using this approach exclusively.

“It is critical for all organizations to consider the types of salary structures, competitive positioning, frequency of adjustments and overall design to offer the best and most successful reward systems that engage and retain all employees,” said Scott Cawood, President and CEO of WorldatWork. "This survey is a great source to benchmark externally but can also provide keen insight into effectively managing pay equity and transparency of internal programs. Market-based structures have struck a chord with organizations because they combine the more well-defined parameters of a traditional structure with the range spread flexibility of broad bands.”

While most organizations keep salary structures, competitive positioning, and frequency of update consistent, variation by job function, job level, critical workforce segment, and/or geography is not uncommon. Of note, 21% of organizations use different types of structures by job function/family and 19% based on critical workforce segments. 

“This survey also reinforces how closely organizations are monitoring the market today, based on the types of structures being utilized and the frequency with which they are being evaluated”, said Gregory Stoskopf, Managing Director and National Practice leader of Compensation Strategies for Deloitte Consulting LLP.

NOTE:​ Journalists may request a complimentary copy of the survey report by contacting Judy Kalvin, ​

About the Study

WorldatWork and Deloitte Consulting LLP collected survey data for the “2019 Survey of Salary Structure Policies and Practices” from September 19, 2018 to October 12, 2018. The survey report was based on 331 responses. Survey respondents were WorldatWork members and Deloitte Consulting LLP contacts employed in the HR, compensation and benefits departments of mostly U.S. organizations: 68% from the private sector and 32% from public sector and nonprofit.

About WorldatWork® 

WorldatWork ( is the leading nonprofit professional association in compensation and total rewards. We serve those who design and deliver total rewards programs to cultivate engaged, effective workforces that power thriving organizations. We accomplish this through education and certification; idea exchange; knowledge creation; information sharing; research; advocacy; and affiliation and networking. Founded in the United States in 1955, today WorldatWork serves total rewards professionals throughout the world working in organizations of all sizes and structures.

About Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital Practice

Deloitte helps organizations effectively manage their human capital to drive business growth. It does this leveraging advanced analytics to develop talent management and business-driven HR strategies to deliver results. Deloitte is a leader in human capital consulting, bringing a unique combination of business, industry and HR knowledge, supported by the breadth of services and capabilities of a multidisciplinary professional services organization and global network. For more information, please visit 

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see ​​ for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. The statements in this report reflect our analysis of survey respondents and are not intended to reflect facts or opinions of any other entities. All survey data and statistics referenced and presented, as well as the representations and opinions expressed, unless specifically described otherwise, pertain only to the participating organizations and their responses to the Deloitte/WorldatWork survey conducted in September 2018.

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