Navigating the Minimum Wage Changes in 2017

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Posted in Blog by Chrissy Dooley
Mon Jan 16 2017

Recently, a few states, including Washington, Colorado, Arizona, and Maine, have approved measures to increase the minimum wage in their states (all going up to roughly $10 an hour). There is little talk about what exactly will happen at the federal level. However, if you happen to occupy one of these states, or in any that have new laws in the works, you may already notice changes being made.


If you occupy one of the few states increasing the min. wage, you may notice some changes. Read this:


Some are going the slow route, and some a little faster, like the four states mentioned previously, but the trend of increased wage is clear and on the rise. In fact, this year, 21 states plan on increasing their minimum wage by some margin. So, what can you do to prepare? Here are three things your company should consider when changes come your way:

Rearrange Budgets

It’s important to understand how wage increases may impact your budget. Most of these laws are gradual, which gives you plenty of time to prepare and understand what areas will be affected.

Consider how you will make these changes. How will pay adjust over time? How fast will you be able to put this into action? While adjustments are being made will you have to cut back on other types of compensation? Make sure you have a plan in place to answer these questions and understand exactly what will be expected of your company and by when. These are the most important aspects before setting things into motion.

Not sure how to plan your compensation? Get our step-by-step guide!

What About Pay Structures?

Not only do you need to think about how you will increase pay for those who are not at the minimum amount, but also consider those who get paid more. When it comes to those workers, it may be necessary to increase their pay as well. This evens things out, and distinguishes that separation between higher level employees and lower.

Those with a formal pay structure, may look at this a little differently. You will want to ensure that the range you provide fits within this minimum and adjust accordingly, being sure to take in the ideas of pay schedules, etc. Which, again, includes those who already get paid higher than the new wage requirement.

Since this change is only happening in certain states, what do you do if you are a company with multiple locations? For business purposes, it may not make sense to adjust accordingly in all of your locations. It could be more beneficial to think about adjusting your midpoint differentials. The main idea behind any structure changes such as these is being mathematically consistent.

Clearly Communicate

What good is a plan if no one knows about it? This is where the importance of stating and communicating these changes comes into play. You may not think so, but The McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees.


Does quality communication pay off among teams? Take a look at the proven productivity boost:


Before communicating about any of these changes, have your research and calculations done so you can properly express what will be happening. This goes for both managers and employees. It’s important to keep everyone in the loop.

Some of the verbiage and policies may be foreign to some employees, so educate them and be prepared to answer any questions they may have. Hearing about wage changes can sometimes be a touchy subject. Communicate in a way that you are able to discuss with a broad audience.

It takes a lot to prepare for wage increases or decreases in the workplace. And, it can be detrimental for those companies who choose to not properly prepare. Make sure you’re not one of them by following this guide, and see how PeopleTicker can help you with salary and hourly compensation rates.

Want to know how you can plan for any compensation changes? Download our 5 step guide!



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