A Nebraska construction CEO is reportedly giving employees $2,000 bonuses to offset inflation, which reached its highest level in 41 years

Dee Yonker
Construction worker

Construction worker using walkie-talkieBryan Hainer/Getty Images

  • The 340 employees at a Nebraska construction firm are getting $2,000 bonuses to offset inflation.

  • Hawkins Construction CEO Chris Hawkins told Construction Dive it’s a worthwhile investment.

  • The bonuses came with a request to work smarter and “help us stay cost competitive” while on the job.

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.”

The bonuses do come with a request:

“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.”

Nate Harper, who has been with Hawkins for 17 years, said he hoped other companies would follow suit: “Everybody knows the problem there, but figuring out how to help the individuals who are carrying you, that’s something a lot of companies could learn from.”

Hawkins Construction didn’t immediately respond for a request to comment.

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.

On average, salaries for new hires are 7% higher than the median pay for people already employed in similar positions, according to LaborIQ, a compensation data provider.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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