Author: Allen Jones, Senior HR Consultant

In today’s highly competitive employment climate it is important for pay and benefits to be in line with what is happening in your market. Staying competitive in order to attract the best candidates and retain your most valuable employees is critical to an organization’s success. In many markets compensation is rising in direct relation to high demand and low supply of talent (this is especially true in the tech sector) so knowing what you need to pay in order to find and keep your people should be top of mind for all employers.

Think of your top 5 employees and how difficult it would be if they were enticed to leave because their pay is significantly lower than other companies. Many employers have no idea whether or not their salaries are in line with the marketplace. A salary survey can give you a good picture of how your salaries compare. Surveys can include base pay and other forms of pay like incentive pay, bonus pay, profit sharing, etc. There are also benefit surveys which give a comprehensive picture of the benefits that exist and the various levels of coverage for each benefit.

Another best practice is to communicate to your employees the benefits that are offered. If they clearly understand what benefits they have, they are more likely to value them. Employers spend significant dollars for benefits for their employees and the value of those dollars can be reduced if employees are not aware of what they have. An optional one hour live presentation once year offering a concise summary of the details of employee benefits will remind employees what they have available to them. It also gives them the opportunity to ask questions they may have that are pertinent to them.

It’s also important to ensure that all new hires receive a complete written overview of what your benefits include. By communicating both during the hiring process and again annually to your employees about the value of their benefits you ensure that they recognize that these benefits are part of their compensation package and therefore add value to their overall employment.

It pays to pause from the day to day business of serving the customer to think of pay, benefits and effective communication with your employees.