Would you like to take the health of your workplace culture to the next level? You’ll automatically be one step closer with these 7 Essentials of Rewarding Compensation. They’re all yours, courtesy of Susan Griffith Byers, founder of Church Compensation Services LLC. This Dallas-based group specializes in developing compensation programs utilizing the most relevant, reliable, and robust compensation data available for large and growing churches.
Make These 7 Essentials Your Own
How many of these seven boxes can you check, as in “Yes, our organization is on it?”
1) Compensation Philosophy
“A compensation philosophy is the foundation, or roadmap, of an effective compensation program. It should align with the church’s mission and vision and define the relevant targeted market. Without a compensation philosophy, it’s difficult to identify and target a market that’s relevant to your unique mission and vision. It’s like shooting in the dark.”
2) Reliable Survey Data
“You’ve heard the expression “garbage in, garbage out.” Well, it’s the same with survey data. Free data on the Internet may be a decent reference point, but it’s not something you want to gamble with when spending half of your church’s annual budget on salaries.”
3) Defining Your Competitive Labor Market
“Believe it or not, not all church jobs can or should be compared exclusively to other church jobs. A church I worked with in southern California found it difficult to attract and retain programming and production staff. They were competing with Hollywood and needed to find local survey sources to benchmark their jobs. Their local competitive labor market needed to be considered for this population; Not all jobs needed to be compared to the Hollywood production and creative arts market, but these specific roles did.”
4) Job Documentation and Job Evaluation
“It’s nearly impossible to benchmark your jobs and evaluate pay without proper job documentation. I’ve seen many churches with random individual job titles for Johnny and Susie based on their gifts and talents but none of it is documented. Minimum requirements and essential job functions need to be documented. When they aren’t, pay inequities occur. This can also put the church at risk if it’s determined that Johnny and Susie have essentially the same job duties, but Susie’s base salary is half of what Johnny earns. It happens all the time.”
Salary structures are the framework of a good compensation program.”
5) Pay Program Administration
“Churches need to develop guidelines around:
- How you will administer pay changes for internal promotions, demotions, and lateral transfers?
- How will external salary offers be determined?
- Will you have any other types of compensation like Christmas bonuses, or other types of incentives? And how will they be administered?”
6) Evaluate Salary Structures
“Salary structures are the framework of a good compensation program. They hold everything together and provide parameters for making good compensation decisions. A structure also simplifies the administration of compensation programs and helps ensure consistent, equitable and fair pay.”
“A salary structure should have enough grades to provide differentiation in pay within the levels or hierarchy of your jobs. They should be wide enough to accommodate multiple jobs of comparable value within a level or grade and represent the market range of those jobs.”
7) Commit to Annual Maintenance
“Of course, I recommend participating in the Megachurch Compensation Survey every year. Not only does this enable you to monitor the moving market and ensure competitive salaries but it’s a benefit to the church-at-large. Consistent participation benefits other churches and ministries. In the corporate world, we refer to this as being a ‘good corporate citizen.’ It’s no different in the church.”
“Once you have a salary structure in place, we recommend adjusting it annually to keep up with the market but still allow individual employees to move through the range commensurate with their growth in the role.”
Above all . . .
“As Christians, we’re called to be good stewards with what we’ve been given. Jesus said, ‘Give and it will be given back to you (Luke 6:38).’ That’s reciprocity, that’s compensation, and it’s why I’m so passionate about rewarding employees with fair and relevant compensation for the value they bring to the organization. Let’s face it, not all employees, even in the church, bring their best every day. We should be rewarding the ones who do with the best we can give.”
It’s Your Turn
In your mind, which of these 7 essentials does your organization need the most? Why?
Coming Up Next on our Continuing Series
“How to Build Greater Organizational Trust”
Vann Ellison, President & CEO
St. Matthew’s House
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