As the demand for talent continues to be high, leadership’s roadmap to raising the minimum wage should include critical discussions on why competitive pay matters and who really benefits. (Photo: Shutterstock)

We’ve all seen recent hiring trends like fast-food establishments are offering starting wages 50% —and sometimes even higher—more than the state minimum wage. We’ve all felt the pinch at the pump with gas prices approaching $5 in states like California and trending upward in most other places too. And, we’ve all been to the grocery store and felt like everything was a dollar more than yesterday. It’s not in our minds: the U.S. inflation rate is the highest it’s been in 40 years.

In many cases, the pressure to react to inflation is falling on employers. As a result, employers are not only contending with federal and state legislation for minimum wage but also increased benefit demands: what’s in it for me? As performance evaluation season marches on, many employers aren’t able to increase employees based on rising living costs alone. So what are companies to do?

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