COMP NEWS – A Nebraska construction company is offering its hourly workers two $1,000 bonus checks to offset rising inflation.

With US inflation reaching its highest level in 41 years, ordinary wage increases are falling well short of matching the higher costs of living.

For Chris Hawkins, president and CEO of Hawkins Construction in Nebraska, the math showed that employees at his company would come up about 3% short of inflation after their normal raises.

To help offset those costs, he told Construction Dive, each of the company’s 340 hourly workers received a $1,000 bonus check in April. A second bonus of $1,000 is scheduled for August.

“It’s really difficult to overpay for talent,” Hawkins told the publication. “You can spend a lot on talent and not regret it.”

However, the employee bonuses come with one string attached – a request to work harder in exchange for the one-time bonus.

“Be focused, be a little more efficient,” Hawkins said. “Take five minutes to unravel your extension cord instead of 10. You can help us stay cost competitive.”

While some companies are offering extra compensation – mostly in the form of bonuses, rather than pay raises – to counter inflation, many organizations say they aren’t even considering inflation when calculating salaries.

Nearly half of 300 employers surveyed by an HR consulting firm said they do not consider inflation when calculating salaries, Forbes previously reported. The same survey found more than 40% of workers asked for help with rising costs.

Wages have certainly been climbing since the beginning of the pandemic, but those gains are largely attributable to people switching jobs.

To read more about employee bonuses at Hawkins Construction, click here.

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