Staff pay is one of the biggest bills any company pays, but is that pay set at the right level?

Most businesses don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their pay structure – many pay salaries depending on the person’s skills and experience for a particular job or how well they negotiate their own salary – but this can prove a problem with equal pay law and also now with gender pay reporting.

One organisation I dealt with paid £150,000 to a man who had come from a London firm for a role which looked very similar on paper to that held by a woman elsewhere in the company, who was being paid £70,000. It is easy to be swayed by what other companies are paying, to attract and retain talent, but there are always other solutions, which don’t create such imbalances.

It’s really important for a business to think about what they want to reward when they’re reviewing a pay structure – do you value loyalty, skills and experience, high levels of performance or a combination of all of these?

Also, do you ask your staff what they want? I’ve found that employers may believe staff want a pay rise, whereas the staff themselves would prefer other benefits.

It may not sound exciting but I really enjoy helping employers to review their pay and benefit structures to ensure that they work – it’s probably the geek in me. If a company knows where it’s going and where it wants to be in the marketplace, that is a great first step – I can support them with the right structures so that they can achieve their ambitions.

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