Aon Hewitt’s outlook for Salaries and Rewards in 2018

We welcomed back Jairus Ashworth from Aon Hewitt for the fourth consecutive year to present to a large group of senior reward and HR professionals on a whirlwind review of the latest trends in the world of remuneration and rewards.

Fixed Salaries

Fixed salaries continue to flatten in line with broader economic and business conditions, reaching the lowest mark since the GFC and raising a number of questions about whether the current approach taken by most organisations to allocating salary increases is an effective use of funds and generates a return on investment.


Bonus have also been trending downwards, and Jairus explored a number of notable observations about the difference in bonus award levels for men and women, across different industries and the apparent incongruence in some sectors with senior management achieving higher levels of performance than the rest of their company.

Executive Pay

We explored trends in executive pay, with the most intriguing change being a number of companies who have combined their short and long term incentives into a single structure which holds promise of simplifying what is a very complex area of reward prone to unintended consequences and at times uninformed public discourse. It may well also prove to be more motivating to participants.

What drives sales people?

A peek into the minds of salespeople revealed the relative importance of different aspects of the employee value proposition; salespeople of different ages, in different industries and countries, at different performance levels and personal engagement stages all highly value base salary and will trade a surprising amount to improve it.

We also explored the openness of most salespeople to the increased use of team based goals at the expense of individual ones; even high performers who the current approach advantages.

Are your team members being paid more than you?

Interestingly research found that 2.2% of Australians are being paid a higher base salary than their boss. This rate rises to 5% in Sydney and drops to 0% in Brisbane!  But before we all start packing our bags, external factors such as location of head office, cost of living in each city etc will have an impact on these figures.


The session concluded with a look beyond the shores of Australia and explored parts of the world expected to experience very high and low levels of wage inflation over the next 12 months; from 1.9% in Cyprus to 100%+ in Venezuela.

Please contact Aon Hewitt for more information on this topic