We recently did a staff survey. We do one every 4 years.

As usual, the question on pay “how do you rate your salary (including bonuses) compared to what other companies have to offer?” got one of the worst responses, with over a third of staff rating us below average or poor.

Although the response was better than the last survey (when almost 60% rated us below average or poor, it still is an issue we’d like to tackle, but don’t know how to.

The issue seems to be more perception than reality. We don’t lose many staff to higher paying local jobs (most recent leavers have been retirements or staff moving away from London), and we rarely have problems with our salary grades when recruiting (we’ve recruited over 25 new staff over the last 18 months, mainly through growth). And we’re in one of the lowest unemployment areas in the country, in outer SW London (so, if our ranges were much too low, I would be having much more difficulty recruiting than I am).

There’s a slight bias in the respondees with 1-3 years service (if I can believe the way staff have filled in the survey. It was issued and analysed on an anonymous basis, but we asked for length of service and location to try and identify any particular groups who may have specific problems; obviously the quality of this data depends on the integrity of the respondent). But this group has only recently been recruited, so I would have expected their salary rates to be at about market rate.

We don’t (and won’t) publish salary scales, and we’re still a small enough organisation that we can do individual salary and performance reviews on a rolling annual, rather than a group, basis. I do monitor the ranges, oth via external surveys lime Reward and via local recruitment agencies adverts, so I’m sure our ranges are competitive, and, on top of that, we pay a 4 week bonus at Christmas to staff who’ve been here more than 2 years.

So I’m left trying to think of ways that I can change people’s perception of being underpaid, without publishing any actual salary data.

Any ideas gratefully received!
Tony Currie

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