Senior living organizations are finding they are not alone when it comes to holding the line on salary upgrades.

A new survey finds that modest pay increase will be the norm next year in pretty much every field.

Global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson Data Services obtained data from 858 companies spread across a wide swath of industries. Here’s the bottom line: Pay raises will hover around 3% for most workers. In other words, a decade-long trend basically will continue.

As always, there were a few caveats. Many participating firms showed a willingness to be more generous to the rock star employees who make big achievements. Firms also are being less parsimonious with discretionary bonuses. Those are expected to rise from 5.3% to 5.9% next year.

Although the labor market is tighter than a tick, most employers simply are unwilling to jack up their fixed costs by significantly upgrading their salary budgets, notes Catherine Hartmann, North America Rewards leader at Willis Towers Watson.

“But many companies are getting creative with base pay beyond the traditional annual merit increase,” she adds. For example, some firms are carving out increase pools for their high-potential and top-performing employees, setting aside premium pay for highly valued skills, considering “market adjustments” for critical segments and providing more frequent increases outside of the annual cycle for in-demand jobs, she says.

We don’t yet know whether these “creative” alternatives to generous pay raises are effective. But it probably won’t take long to find out.