5 ways your EAP can improve employee performance

eap-cartoon-october-2016Employee Assistance plans (EAPs) have long been touted as having a wide variety of positive outcomes for employees and their employers.  For many years, we have hypothesized that EAPs had a positive impact on employee performance and a recent study has shown that what we suspected is true:  EAPs help to improve work-related outcomes.

Many employers continue to believe that the benefits to EAP services extend only as far as the employee who is engaging in services.  With that assumption, it can be very difficult to see the potential return on investment that EAPs offer organizations.

Here are 5 ways that EAPs can improve employee performance and have a positive impact on your workplace.

  1. Decreased absenteeism and presenteeism

Did you know that personal problems can account for up to 125 lost productive hours per employee each year?  Many of these problems can be addressed through EAP services, empowering employees with the tools they need to address these issues.  We all know that stress is one of the leading causes of lost time at work.  An effective EAP can tackle this issue and help employees to remain active and engaged in the workplace.

  1. Improved productivity

Have you ever tried to work when you are tired or distracted by a personal problem?  It probably wasn’t easy, was it?  Now imagine that you had easy access to resources designed specifically to help you address this problem.  Once you dealt with the distraction, it was probably much easier to focus on your work.  That is exactly how EAPs help to improve employee productivity!

  1. Improved employee morale

It is difficult to have good morale in the workplace when people are struggling or dealing with overwhelming stressors.  Employees who are able to access support when dealing with stressors can help to improve workplace morale, instead of contributing to its downfall.

  1. Improved management efficiency

Managers are not always qualified or comfortable offering hands-on support to employees who are struggling with personal issues.  It can be extremely time consuming and is often ineffective.  Employees who access EAP services are more likely to get the qualified assistance they require.  This can free up a significant amount of time and energy for managers, allowing them to lead their team to success.

  1. Improved employee engagement and retention

Employees who are able to utilize EAP services are more likely to be engaged in the workplace and motivated to stay with the same organization for the long term.  Employees feel more connected to an organization that has offered support during a difficult time and see this as an important part of their total compensation package.

Employee Assistance plans are more than just counselling services.  These programs have benefits that extend far beyond the walls of the counsellor’s office and have a multi-faceted positive impact on the workplace.  To learn more about our cost-effective EAP plans, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

5 easy ways to use performance management as a tool for employee engagement

Studies have consistently shown that employee engagement has a positive impact on the workplace.  Specifically, engagement has been shown to improve morale, productivity, and employee retention rates.  Many organizations know they want to improve employee engagement but are overwhelmed with how to get started.  Performance management is a great way to start improving employee engagement.  Here are our 5 best tips that you can begin to use today.

  1. Set clear expectations

Employees perform best when they know exactly what is required of them.  One of the most common things employees tell us when we interview them about their job is that they don’t know what is required of them.  This can be a huge barrier to engagement since realistic performance expectations and clarity regarding job duties has been shown to have the greatest influence on employee engagement.  Organizations should regularly update job descriptions to help employees be more successful and engaged.  If your organization doesn’t have current job descriptions, ask employees to help update them in partnership with management and Human Resources.  By being involved in setting the expectations for their role and goals, employees are more likely to be motivated and successful.  We have seen first-hand positive results from this time and time again!

 

  1. Build a bridge between employees and the organization

The performance management process offers managers the perfect opportunity to create and maintain a connection between employees and the organization.  Organizations should ensure that managers are comfortable and competent conducting performance reviews so they can clearly illustrate the relationship between each employee’s job and the overall success of the organization.  This has been proven to increase the amount of effort employee’s put into their jobs.  The initiative Engagement @ Harvard suggests clarifying three factors as part of performance reviews.

  • Who we are: Goals of the organization.
  • Why we exist: Organization’s mission and vision.
  • How you help us succeed: The role each employee’s job has in helping the organization to achieve targets and goals.

 

  1. Incorporate opportunities for two-way feedback

While performance reviews are traditionally considered a vehicle for providing feedback to employees, they also present a valuable opportunity for employees to provide feedback to their manager and the organization.  Communication is always more effective when it offers both parties the opportunity to be heard, turning two-way feedback into a very powerful employee engagement strategy.  For this reason, we always recommend that employees are given the opportunity to comment and sign off on their job description and performance review.

 

  1. Build a system based on strengths

Did you know that employees who use their strengths at work are 6 times more likely to be engaged on the job?  By focusing performance management on effectively identifying and acknowledging an employee’s strengths, outcomes include better productivity, improved job performance, and higher retention rates.  It is much easier to capitalize on employee strengths than it is to improve employee weaknesses.  In addition, using a performance management strategy that focuses on each employee’s individual strengths also contributes to feeling happier, having more energy, taking fewer sick days, lower incidents of chronic disease, and a decrease in health-related employee expenses.

 

  1. Reward the good stuff.

Your organization’s recognition and compensation strategy should be tied in with year-round performance management activities.  Compensation that increases employee engagement is about more than just salary and raises.  A total compensation and recognition strategy is multi-faceted and should involve things like public recognition and sincere “Thank You’s” that detail what the employee did that was so appreciated and how it benefited the department or the organization.

Performance management is an organization’s key to unlocking employee engagement and improving overall departmental and organizational outcomes.  With these 5 tips, you can start to implement a performance management program designed for employee engagement.  If you would like more ideas, contact CG Hylton Inc. to learn about our popular workshops and tools to enhance employee engagement!

 

 

The time has come for innovative benefit plans

Greeenshield

CG Hylton Inc. has been providing benefit plans to Calgary-based organizations for over 15 years.  During that time, we have seen it all.  We have seen benefit plan designs come and go.  We have seen standard benefit plans that do the job just fine but that do not offer a great deal in terms of flexibility and innovation.  Recently, we had the opportunity to learn more about Green Shield Canada, a company that is doing things a little bit differently with some great results!

What really caught our attention about Green Shield Canada is that they use benefits as a springboard to wellness, instead of as a reaction to illness.  They want the benefits they offer to inspire significant and lasting change in the health and wellness of plan members.

Using research, science, and targeted metrics, Green Shield Canada has put together an online portal called Change4Life.  Plan members can access this portal for the following tools and resources:

  • Health Risk Assessments that provide a personal health score,
  • Health Education modules,
  • Physical activity and health trackers,
  • Medication reminders, and
  • Meaningful rewards for participation.

The online health portal targets behavioural change, disease prevention, and disease management.  Virtually every single plan member can benefit from the tools and information offered.  Healthier plan members translate to healthier employees.

Green Shield Canada has gone one step further and made it possible for the employer plan sponsors, to incorporate these same tools into onsite wellness programs and the overall organizational culture.  The plans are customizable and can be tailored to suit the needs of your organization and your employees.

Benefit plans are a key ingredient in successful recruitment and retention packages but managing a great plan can be cumbersome and overwhelming for organizations where staff are stretched to the limit.  With Green Shield, companies can access all the benefits without the stress or headaches that come with successfully managing a plan.  CG Hylton Inc. is able to work directly with Green Shield Canada on your behalf to negotiate the best benefits for your employees and handle the daily management of the plan.  Contact us today to find out how we benefit you!

5 advantages of using an Insurance Broker

Calgary Insurance broker

Did you know that many Canadians are underinsured?  Families rely on employer provided insurance benefits but these benefits are often inadequate and are directly tied to employment status.  If an income earner loses their job, they also lose access to these benefits.  Supplementing employer provided insurance benefits with personal policies is an easy and cost-effective way to help protect yourself and your loved ones from financial hardship due to disability or death.

CG Hylton Inc. has a team of highly qualified insurance brokers that can help you to determine what type of supplemental insurance is the best fit for your budget and your financial situation.  There are many benefits to using an insurance broker as opposed to purchasing a standard policy directly from a large insurance provider.  Here are the top 5 advantages of using an insurance broker.

  1. Insurance brokers are committed to your best interest.

Insurance brokers are not employed by an insurance company so they don’t have any interest in selling you a particular policy or product.  As independent advisors, they have the flexibility to find the policy that best suits your needs instead of trying to fit you into a standard policy.

  1. Insurance brokers get to know you and your financial situation.

Before they recommend a product, a great insurance broker will sit down with you to review your financial situation, goals, future needs, and your budget.  After the insurance broker has this information, they will then find the best policy to meet your needs.

  1. Insurance brokers are licensed and highly educated

In order to sell insurance products independently, brokers must complete required courses and obtain their license.  These requirements help brokers to remain up to date on products, industry regulations, and also holds them accountable to a strict code of ethics and conduct.

  1. Insurance brokers can secure special pricing.

Many people wrongly assume that insurance companies offer consumers the best premium rates possible.  This isn’t always true.  Insurance brokers can often secure better rates.  This is because the insurance companies trust the skill and education of insurance brokers.  They know that the brokers have chosen the best possible product for their client and that can actually minimize unnecessary claim costs.

  1. Insurance brokers provide unparalleled personal service.

When you use an insurance broker, as opposed to a call-centre agent, you get someone who knows your name and is familiar with your personal situation.  As your broker gets to know you and your family, they are able to forecast how your insurance requirements might change over time and can recommend products or policies that will continue to meet your financial needs and goals.

CG Hylton Inc. has been a Calgary-based insurance broker for over 20 years.  During that time, we have helped countless people reach their financial goals and protect their families from undue financial hardship caused by disability or death.  Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation and find out how we benefit you!

Employee assistance plans matter, especially when times are tough

employee assistance programs

It is no secret that many Alberta organizations are struggling right now.  Executives are working hard to do more with less.  We have seen cut backs in staffing levels, employee perks, and salaries.  One area that can be tempting to cut back on is employee wellness.  Now, more than ever, employee wellness needs to be a priority for organizations.  The good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.

Employee Assistance programs can help to improve productivity and employee retention.  Companies with organized wellness programs have reported decreases in absenteeism, disability claims, and workplace accidents.  One of the biggest myths surrounding employee wellness programs in Calgary is that they are costly.  In reality, these programs can be affordable and provide an excellent return on investment.

At CG Hylton Inc., we have worked with a wide range of organizations to create customized employee wellness programs within an allotted budget.  One of our favourite products to offer companies is a pay per use Employee Assistance Plan (EAP).  Our unique EAP design affords companies of all sizes the opportunity to provide confidential counselling services to employees and their families.  Our EAP services have proven to be a valuable resource over the past few months.  Employees are able to access mental health counselling alongside financial counselling.  This has given employees actionable and effective tools they can use at work and at home during these uncertain financial times.

In addition to Employee Assistance Plans, there are a number of things that organizations can start to do today to help foster a healthy workplace.  Here are just a few of the free and low-cost strategies we recommend:

  • Add helpful wellness related content to company communications;
  • Hang posters that suggest easy ways employee can incorporate physical activity into their workday (taking the stairs, quick stretch breaks, walking meetings);
  • Create a lending library of mental health and fitness resources by encouraging employees to bring in unwanted books, DVDs, or CDs on these topics; and
  • Ask local businesses to waive fees and offer a free Lunch and Learn session on their area of expertise.

We know how tough it can be to think about employee wellness during a time when organizations are struggling to make it through the next pay period.  In fact, there is a strong business case for employee wellness programs especially during an economic downturn.  For employees, these Employee Assistance Plans and initiatives help by

  • Encouraging employees to adopt healthy behaviours for their body and mind;
  • Reducing workplace accidents and injuries; and
  • Creating a stronger social network between employees.

For organizations, employee wellness programs help to

  • Increase productivity and overall quality of work;
  • Decrease absenteeism and claims experience;
  • Decrease overall benefits costs;
  • Improve employee morale; and
  • Improve recruitment and retention rates.

There is a cost to employee wellness programs.  But the question is not how much does it cost.  The question is can Calgary organizations really afford to overlook the substantial benefits of an employee wellness program?  If you would like to learn more about how we can help you put together an effective plan that works with your budget, contact Hylton Inc. for a free and no-obligation consultation.  Find out how we can benefit you!

Why mortgage insurance may not be the best bang for your buck

Calgary life insurance

 

On the surface, it makes sense to insure one of your biggest debts: your mortgage.  Mortgage insurance covers your outstanding mortgage amount should you die before your mortgage is paid in full.  While that sounds like a good idea, there are some important features of mortgage insurance that you should be aware of.

  1. Mortgage insurance is a considered a declining benefit, meaning the amount of coverage you are entitled to decreases with each mortgage payment you make. The premiums are not guaranteed to decline at the same rate or even at all.
  2. There is no flexibility in terms of coverage with mortgage insurance. This type of insurance benefit offers no opportunity to change as your own needs change.  You cannot allocate a beneficiary, as the benefit is automatically paid to the mortgage lender.
  3. Mortgage insurance in comparison to life insurance is not always portable. If you change mortgage lenders before your mortgage is paid off, your mortgage insurance may not transfer to your new lender.  You will have to requalify for mortgage insurance and may be required to undergo a physical examination or provide recent health records.  There is no guarantee that you will receive coverage.
  4. Mortgage insurance offers no protection should you be unable to work due to disability.

While death is certain for all of us, receiving any benefit from your mortgage insurance is not certain at all.  In the event that you remain healthy (and we hope you do!) and pay off your mortgage, you will have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars for a benefit that you are no longer eligible to receive.  Luckily, life insurance benefits have evolved significantly over the past few decades and can be a much smarter way to protect your home and your family.

There are three different life insurance products that can effectively replace mortgage insurance.  These are critical illness insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance.

  • Critical illness insurance is actually a living benefit, meaning you are entitled to receive it upon diagnosis of an illness or disability covered by your policy. It is a lump sum benefit that you can use to your own discretion for things like medical expenses or to pay off your mortgage.
  • Term life insurance is a low cost insurance option that covers you for anywhere from 10 to 30 years, depending on the policy that you purchase. If you die during the term, a benefit is paid out to your beneficiaries.  Your beneficiaries can use this money to pay off your mortgage.  Term life policies are typically only in force up to age 80.
  • Permanent life insurance is a unique product that provides lifetime coverage and can accumulate cash value over time through a tax-advantaged investment component. There is no upper age restriction for permanent life insurance policies.  There are a few different types of permanent life insurance and you can choose the policy that works best with your budget, financial goals, and risk tolerance.

There are two significant advantages to life insurance that mortgage insurance simply cannot compete with.  First, the benefit doesn’t decrease over time.  If you die with only one payment remaining on your mortgage, you have spent a significant amount on premiums for a benefit that pays out an extremely small amount of money.  Your life insurance will always pay out the benefit agreed upon at the time you purchased the policy.  In some cases with permanent life insurance, your beneficiary may receive even more than the minimum agreed upon benefit.  Second, the benefit can be used any way you or your beneficiaries need to.  This flexibility is great since circumstances and needs may change over time.

Before you purchase life insurance, you should complete a needs analysis to determine what type of coverage to purchase and how much.  Simply stated, a needs analysis helps to quantify your family’s immediate cash needs and ongoing income needs in the event that you pass away.  Immediate cash needs are things like your mortgage, loans and debt, emergency savings, children’s education, funeral expenses, and final taxes.  Ongoing income includes the income that will be required to meet regular monthly expenses and the number of years your family would need to rely on this income.

CG Hylton Inc. has been a leader in offering Calgary life insurance policies to companies and individuals for over 19 years.  Our licensed and highly qualified insurance specialists can put together an individualized policy that meets your needs and budget.  We have made it easy for you to get a free, no-obligation online quote with our online instant quote tool!  If you have questions, please contact us anytime to find out how we benefit you.

 

Build Your Way To A Better Confidence in You

self confidence

Quote:

“Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”

~ Samuel Johnson

 Overview:

  • Self-confidence refers to assuredness in your own worth, abilities and power, regardless of the situation you are in. Someone who is self-confident has a strong sense of belief and certainty in Themselves. They exude calmness, composure and are self-aware.
  • Self-confidence is often linked with possessing of certain knowledge, skill sets or abilities, whether it is acquired or innate. While having aptitude in a particular area can help bolster your self-worth, it is not a necessary prerequisite for self-confidence. Someone with absolutely no competency in something can still be self-confident

Benefits of having a healthy self-confidence:

 

  • If you have a healthy and solid self-confidence, it is much easier to deal with someone rejecting you, and as a result, you’re not afraid or anxious of putting yourself in situations where you might be rejected, you are much more willing to take a risk.
  •  In the event you are rejected, you realize how easily you can, indeed, handle it, and emerge stronger than ever with such proof of how strong and capable you are. Your world is not shattered and your day or week destroyed.
  •  In this way, a healthy self-confidence naturally makes you stronger and stronger over time.
  •  Taking this into consideration, not only is it worth your time and effort to become a more self-confident person, but it’s also worth your time to develop a healthy degree of self-confidence that will always benefit you in life, and make your life easier and more rewarding in every way.

Here are 5 typical behaviors of people with low self-confidence:

  1. Undervaluing what they are capable of
  2. Taking blame even when it is not their fault
  3. Shame themselves – feel about about who they are
  4. Being hung up over negative outcomes and ‘failures’ in the past
  5. Having a fearful and adverse attitude toward most things

How To Increase Self-Confidence:

 There are a series of different ways you can use to increase self-confidence.

  1. One must understand their personal value system.
  2. Identify cognitive distortions and where they come from
  3. Answer the question: Who or what defines your reality?

Build Your Way To A Better Confidence In Your Blog

  1. Ask yourself: What is Success and how is that measured and by whom?
  2. Make a choice to live a life of personal excellence moving forward irregrdless of the past
  3. Work through the 6 Logical levels and make an action plan!

The Current Market Place:

  •  There is a wealth of material on the market today that talks about ways to increase self-confidence. The issue is that many of these ideas are warm thoughts and can cause people to have a short emotional experience without a long lasting impact that truly sustains a healthy self-confidence.
  • When someone says do ‘XYZ’ and you will increase your self-confidence and have the life you have always wanted or someone suggests all you have to do are these 10 things and you will have what you long for it is more often than not a disappointment. Why? Because as stated earlier, it is an emotional experience full of sizzle and no substance.

 

How To Truly Gain Healthy Self-Confidence:

  •  In Order to truly gain a healthy self- confidence that is sustained it requires deep introspection.
  • As a result of someone giving themselves permission to be honest with themselves and accept the results that they will encounter, then and only then can they begin to make the changes in their life that are needed. Giving someone a “prescription” of how to gain self-confidence will not sustain in the long-term. People need to be empowered to make the choices that they need to make to acquire the desired results.
  •  In order to do this we are firm believers that they have to be asked the right questions and then, and only then will that put them on the right road to increasing their self-confidence.
  •  Remember, you can live your way into right thinking but you can’t think your way into right living.
  • Building a healthy self-confidence requires action on the part of the individual and someone to stimulate their thinking by asking them the rights questions.

 Build Your Way Into A Better Confidence In You Course:

  •  This course is designed to be interactive so that individuals can identify what is important to themselves, what activating event is preventing them for reaching their potential, then coming up with a plan that will work to overcome and build ones confidence.
  • This is achieved in 5 modules over one full day and at the end of this course the students will be able to have a plan that can enrich their confidence in all that they do.

 Contact Information:

For more information or to register at our next workshop please contact us at:

 

Return to Work The (RTW) Evaluation

Return to workt evaluation

The challenges facing employees who have experienced a work impairing disability or illness, seeking to return to work are many.  Not only is the person depleted in terms of energy levels, physical strength, but their self-esteem and confidence will be shaken.  In terms of the workplace itself, bosses may not necessarily be as supportive as one would like, fellow employees may also harbour resentment that the employee was off the job, creating extra work for those who were left.  There may also be a lack of understanding of what the returnee is facing, so communications is an issue.  To assist in a smooth transition it is helpful to consider programs such as the Return to Work Evaluation.

A RTW Evaluation helps ensure an employee’s readiness to return to work, and plays a critical role in ensuring a smooth transition back to work. Studies have shown that if a RTW fails, the chances of it failing a second time is 80%.  Plotting a strong RTW strategy including the Evaluation can greatly prevent relapse and reduce safety risks.  It can also reduce employer costs overall.  This process is holistic and uses a biopsychosocial treatment model which is summarized as follows:

  1. Collection of relevant work related background information.

Prior to conducting the evaluation, it is helpful to have access to as much information about the work history of the employee as possible. Such information may include length of employment, job description, any disciplinary history or absenteeism and performance reviews. In addition to employment data, the psychologist or counsellor needs to obtain prior medical and/or mental health information. Such information often yields critical clues such as prior episodes of illness or disability, treatment recommendations, prognosis, and relevance to the employee’s work situation, past and present.

 

  1. Conducting an in-depth personal interview.

Because the employee’s perception of the problems is likely to be complex, the interview tends to be lengthy. In our practice, we typically schedule 2 hours for the initial appointment, with additional time as needed. The interview focuses on five areas:

  • Employee’s description of work problems, if any;
  • Employee’s social history including education, family, legal, psychiatric, substance use, aggression, medical, and activities of daily living;
  • Employee’s prior work history, including previous employers;
  • Current symptoms, health and mental health status, and behavioral observations;
  • Employee’s perception of his or her ability to return to work, including suggestions of any modifications to improve work performance.

 

  1. Administration of standardized psychological instruments.

As described above, objective, actuarially-based information is important to use. The tests that are administered are gold standards in terms of measuring the psychological factors essential to succeed in any job.  These factors include things such as:  cognition, pace, persistence, performance, reliability, honesty, trustworthiness, interpersonal skills, conscientiousness, motivation, and stress tolerance.  The tests used commonly fall into 4 areas:

  • Cognitive: Measures intelligence, concentration, and memory;
  • Personality: Measures personality and emotional characteristics, which may be involved in mental health problems such as depression or personality disorders;
  • Effort and motivation: Measures the extent to which the employee is putting forth appropriate effort and is motivated to present in an accurate manner. Ideally, employees who are either minimizing or malingering their symptoms will be identified with these tests;
  • Organizational behavior: Measures personality characteristics that help determine the suitability of an employee for his or her specific job. For example, managers, police officers, and sales people tend to have certain personality characteristics in common.

 

The evaluation is not complete without specific us making recommendations that try to address the best interests of both the employee and employer.

 

Such recommendations usually fall in one of three categories:

  • Fit to return to work – no restrictions. The employee has fully recovered from whatever problems he or she had been experiencing and is now ready to return to work;
  • Fit to return – with restrictions or modifications. The employee may return, but only with some provisions. These may range from initiating or continuing in mental health treatment to making modifications to their workplace environment;
  • Unfit to return. The employee cannot return to work because he or she would be unable to do the job due to an ongoing mental health problem, or would be a threat to the safety of self or others.

 

To Summarize

Employers that take advantage of services such as RTW Evaluations, and work with the recommendations provided, help create a much more sustainable and long lasting RTW situation, that not only dramatically improves the chances of the RTW being successful, but greatly improves the perception of the returning employee, as well as other staff, of the employer as being caring and interested in the well-being of staff.

 

Other Resources

In addition to using programs such as these, employers who work with HR and their EAP to prepare the employee and other staff for the return, also report improved outcomes.  For an example of a successful RTW program involving cancer patients, Wellspring has an excellent program https://www.facebook.com/WellspringCalgary/posts/10153097864386280 .  Chris is an instructor for this course at Wellspring Calgary.

Salary Comparisons

Salary Comparisons

Salary Comparisons

-Salary Comparisons are a tool many organizations use, helping them adopt compensation principles to ensure fairness and equity in pay rates, ease of salary administration, and transparency in compensation practices.  Effective compensation policies are based on objective and up-to-date job descriptions, effective job evaluation, performance management, and relevant salary administration factors.

Organizations are constantly being confronted by employees, managers, and members of the Board of Directors with queries about comparative internal compensation levels, or Internal Equity.   There are often questions about compensation levels paid by the organization compared to similar external organizations, which is known as External Equity.  Which do you think is more important?  Time’s up!  Internal equity trumps external equity most of the time.  Salary comparisons can play an important role in determining pay levels, but pay levels might not be as important as you think.

We are often asked to do HR Reviews for organizations with limited budgets and lower comparative salaries.  You might be wondering, does the organization lose all their staff?  Is the organization dysfunctional?  Are employees unhappy, dissatisfied, and constantly looking for other opportunities?  No.  Why? Most often it is because the organization has a strong corporate culture where managers create a nurturing and happy work environment, and where compensation levels within the organization are well aligned so that no one feels less valued when compared to other jobs within the same organization.

Each time we are asked to interview staff or to do an employee engagement survey, we find the same result.  Employees are unlikely to seek other, higher paying opportunities if they are

  • happy in their jobs,
  • connected to the organizational culture, and
  • doing quality and valued work.

We specifically ask “Would you cross the street and work for $10,000 more in the same job for another organization?”  The resounding response is “No”.

Benefits of salary comparisons

Salary comparisons have several benefits for organizations.

  • Salary comparisons establish pay levels that accurately reflect the talent in the broader market and within your organization. This provides an accurate snapshot of what the market is paying for comparable positions and enables your organization to benchmark compensation levels and make informed pay decisions.
  • Salary comparisons can help to reduce costs and improve effectiveness and profitability through employee retention and streamlined recruitment processes.
  • Salary comparisons can help to reduce time and administration spent by Human Resources and Management on compensation decisions.

The salary comparison process

A salary comparison is relatively easy to prepare and is predominantly based on common job families and common geographic areas.

Typical salary comparison research methodology starts with comparing similar jobs across job families, organizations, sectors, and geographic areas regardless of job title.  Even in cases where job duties are very unique, it is possible to objectively and successfully make salary comparisons across the market.

Establishing a transparent and easily defensible compensation structure based on internal and external salary comparisons helps promote a healthy financial underpinning for organizations.  This process can positively impact employee recruitment and retention, resulting in an improved bottom line for organizations of all sizes.

Developing pay levels based on random notions of what is “right”, or historical trends, can quickly lead to resentment, hostility, and lack of collaboration among employees.  In turn, this contributes to reduced levels of productivity, poor morale, and potential legal battles.   Formal salary comparisons, both internal and external, can effectively assist in removing these challenges.

Depending on the type of business, different methods are used to establish compensation scales based on external salary comparisons.  It is important to determine what other organizations within your industry and region are paying.  The second consideration is to establish what kind of training is necessary for employees to be successful in their jobs and how that affects the bottom line of your business.

Salary comparison structure variations

Different structures look at what the employee can do and less on the formal job description.

  • Skill-based pay is determined by skill level rather than job title. As employees master the skill levels that have been established, they receive pay increases.
  • Competency-based pay and performance systems look at how well employees acquire and execute the core competencies needed to do their job well.

Organizations often broadband several related jobs into one category or job family and assign a pay range to that group, regardless of the job title.  Most often, a combination of pay methods is used to establish compensation scales that are specifically tailored to suit to the needs of the organization.

Salary comparison ROI

The return on investment when using salary comparisons comes through improved and objective compensation levels.  The actual cost of human resources with an organization is always significant and can range from 25% to 85% of the organization’s total budgetary spending.  Salary comparisons help manage this cost more effectively.  This leads to improvements in efficiency and profitability. Depending on payroll costs, improved management of remuneration costs by a mere 0.25% can make a sizeable impact.  Additional savings are realized through improved employee retention.  The typical cost for an organization to replace an employee at an annual salary of $100,000 can be up to $100,000 or more, so it is important to get the pay right!


 Salary comparisons are about more than just wages

While compensation traditionally refers to employment wage or salary, best practice in today’s workplace considers total compensation to include base salary, bonus or incentive plans, benefits, and non-cash compensation.  Pensions, perquisites, holiday and vacation pay, overtime rates (where applicable), site uplifts, living allowances, deductions, gratuities, and other elements are also important factors that are reviewed in salary comparisons

A salary comparison can be a useful tool for any organization.  We are happy to help with your salary comparison process.  Contact us today for a free, no-obligation chat and find out how we benefit you!

 

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