To build a healthy, flourishing workplace culture that’s constantly stocked with top talent you need to create a fair and compelling total rewards package.
How do you do this?
I asked Tara VanderSande, Senior Engagement and Talent Consultant with BCWI, and her answer absolutely hits the sweet spot of Rewarding Compensation, one of the eight workplace culture drivers that make up the BCWI Flourish Model.
Four, Strategic Essentials
“First, when we say, “Rewarding Compensation,” says Tara, “we’re talking about the full suite of tangible resources provided to the employee for their service. In addition to compensation, these resources include a variety of supportive benefits such as medical, retirement and paid time-off.
“When employees feel that their total compensation is truly rewarding it will meet three criteria:
- Compensation is fair and equitable.
- High performance is encouraged.
- The full compensation package is communicated effectively.”
But here’s the kicker no organization can afford to ignore:
“Although compensation is not a primary motivator in sustaining employee engagement, getting it right is important. It may not be the reason an employee stays with your organization, but it could be a reason they choose to leave.”
Given this, how can churches and Christian-led organizations create and clarify the rewards strategy for their talent? Tara offers these four, practical steps toward creating a fair, compelling total rewards package for all employees:
“Start by defining your compensation philosophy
- The compensation philosophy guides the compensation strategies and programs to ensure equitable treatment for everyone. It will spell out how base pay is determined and help you reward behavior and performance.
- Will your compensation decisions be driven by the market (e.g. non-profit, for-profit, mission, church)? By performance? Or some combination of the two?
- Will your philosophy provide a holistic view of compensation, including base pay, incentives, benefits, etc., defining why particular benefits are included?
“Second, you want to pay your employees fairly
- That means you need to know what the market is paying for job categories in your region. For example, what is the mid-salary for an executive assistant in Southern Florida? We recommend sourcing a compensation survey, so you have facts prior to making a decision.
“Third, you’ll want to consider a policy
- A policy that identifies roles of expertise where you plan to pay above market to acquire top talent. This is basic supply and demand. For example, based on the economy and your needs, a qualified software engineer is difficult to find in your area. Your policy may state that difficult-to-fill roles may be compensated at 110% of the mid-point.
“Fourth, determine how and when pay increases are made
- If staff feel that the decisions are subjective and arbitrary, then you’ve lost both the trust and favor your base pay strategy had earned. It’s important to provide clarity and consistency when addressing the following questions. When and how often do raises occur? How will you “adjust” salary over time due to compression or market changes? Does every employee receive the same increase? How is performance evaluated and rewarded?”
Compensation may not be the reason an employee stays with your organization, but it could be a reason they leave.”
Some Wise First Steps
“Wherever your organization currently is with compensation and benefits, you can create a fair and compelling total rewards package by:
- meeting with your senior team to craft an aspirational compensation philosophy,
- involving your emerging leaders in developing a draft total rewards statement, and/or
- discovering how your staff really feels about their employee experience, including compensation, by signing up for an engagement survey.”
To these smart, practical, action steps I would add this inspiring “what if” idea from Tara:
“Imagine if you were able to share the following highlight from your compensation philosophy with every current and potential staff member:
We believe in providing fair, yet modest base compensation starting at 75% of the mid-range for comparable roles. We reward demonstrated, strong performance by increasing pay with the increase in responsibility and outcomes. We provide above-and-beyond care for our staff by reducing expenses for individual and family needs through our holistic benefit offerings.”
Now, that’s an organization I’d like to work for!
It’s Your Turn
Which of these action items and first steps is happening (or not) in your organization, today?
Coming Up Next on our Continuing Series
“Why Rewarding Compensation Can’t Be Ignored”
Susan Griffith Byers, President
Church Compensation Services LLC
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