What your salary survey should tell you: a guide to NPO remuneration

It goes without saying, salary setting for your NPO employees is neither an easy nor straightforward process. There are countless salary surveys at your disposal, produced by a range of consultancies, recruitment agencies and other companies, offering vastly different information and recommended outcomes.

Whilst trying to determine a fair and appropriate remuneration, it’s understandable that so many employers become uncertain and lost in the weeds. What constitutes as ‘appropriate pay’? How do you know which survey to choose and which data to trust? After all, some surveys use the same data to substantiate multiple purposes or amalgamate data extracts (some unsuitable) from several surveys. On other occasions, surveys are conducted ad hoc, drawing from limited and arbitrary samples that provide insufficient input and analytical insight.

It’s vital to know to where, and to whom, you can turn when making these important decisions regarding remuneration, so that valuable time and resources are not lost in the effort to grow a culture of engagement and high employee satisfaction.

Because this process can be rather daunting, Averile Ryder Global Reward Specialists thought to help by offering some basic tips to help you navigate the way forward. Here are some things to remember when choosing the right salary survey(s) for your organisation:

Determine your market

The first and most vital step in targeting the correct remuneration survey(s) to use for any group of employees is to determine the appropriate market. In other words, from where have we either drawn our employees or to where have we lost them? This ties in well with the purpose of remuneration, which is to attract, retain and motivate employees; the remuneration package offered must be competitive within the market from which your employees are being drawn from and are likely to move.

Assess the survey quality

Once you have chosen the appropriate markets and positions, choose the remuneration survey(s) that most accurately and reliably measure the markets you want to target. In the case that suitable surveys are NOT available, the organisation will have to conduct or commission its own survey(s). In either case strict criteria must be applied to ensure that the data is accurate and market-representative.

Work within your parameters

In both the profit and not-for-profit sectors, there is a high correlation between the industry or sector, executive pay and the size parameters of the organisation.  Interestingly, that same correlation exists between an organisation’s operating/turnover budgets and its executive pay. So it is essential when assessing survey quality, that your survey processing organisation gives you insight into executive remuneration pay levels that are sorted in accordance with your organisation’s size parameters. Does your organisation operate on a national, regional or global level, for example? If you are a NPO, we recommend that measures like annual net profit before tax, market capitalisation and tangible asset value are factored into the data collection and analysis.

Limit the number of surveys you use

There is a saying that goes, ‘a man with one watch always knows the time, and a man with two matches is never sure of the correct time’. In other words, it is pointless participating and using several surveys that all measure the same market.  Rather choose to use data from one good, reliable salaries surveys’ source for each market and then use this data consistently to track trends over time.

Let the professionals help you

Of course, there are so many additional factors that need to be factored into the equation – more reason why organisations could stand to benefit from the guidance of a professional survey specialist. Averile Ryder Global Reward Specialists (Pty) Limited (“ARGRS”) have helped countless individuals and organisations to identify their target market and maximise their human capital spend.

Averile Ryder Global Reward Specialists takes great pride in providing their comprehensive and cost-effective annual survey reports, to South African NPOs for over 20 years.

ARGRS is offering a 50% discount off your next report, as well as free attendance to a virtual workshop on various reward and talent management topic, to all NPOs who participate in the 2021 surveys.

Should you wish to participate in the ARGRS 2021 NPO Survey before Friday, 6 August. Please contact Dayne Bredenkamp on [email protected].

Visit www.rewardspecialist.co.za, for more information.