Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When Less is Really More - $$

We recently administered an employee survey for our department. One of the areas to focus on had to do with pay. A group (albeit a relatively small group compared to the whole department) indicated that they were not paid enough for their role. While I know that our compensation is competitive for the role our staff performs, I wondered how we could explain this.One of the areas I wanted to address was the fact that compensation is not just about pay. Although most of us understand this, I am not sure most of us really understand what this means.I decided to try and explain this through a pie chart. I took all of the areas of compensation that our group has available to them and was surprised at how much there really is. Here are some examples:

  • Payrate (this is obvious, and can be hourly or salary)
  • Benefits (this can be up to 30% over and above the payrate which may surprise most)
  • Paid sick days
  • Paid vacation beyond the two week minimum
  • Your own company discounts on products or services
  • Discounts arranged by the company such as deals on products and services from other companies, e.g., Wonderland and other event ticket discounts, a gym membership, discounts on travel, car rentals etc.
  • Bonuses
  • Incentives (no matter how big or small) and rewards
  • Department lunches or dinners (holiday season is big for these)

You get the idea. The list may be longer or shorter depending on the Company you work for. When I added all of these together, I realized that payrate was less than 75% of the actual compensation a person receives. Those little "extras" added up to almost $10k per year in added compensation for each person!

When it comes to benefits, I explained that the next time you visit the dentist (for example) take a look at the cost. Whatever amount your benefits covered is money that did not leave your bank account. Therefore you earned that money (to spend elsewhere). I noticed this approach helped people realize how benefits are a major part of compensation and very often the one thing we take for granted when we have them.

Every little bit counts toward your total compensation.

Someone making $15 per hour or approximately $30k per year may actually make less at a new job paying $17 per hour or $34k. Those extras can really add up when you take the time to look at them closely.

I visited the dentist last week. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I didn't have to pay out of my own pocket.


Blogger Sandra Singer said...

It's important to note that The Shopping Channel's Customer Care Centre recently was awarded the Employer of Choice Gold certification - this may make Graham's insights that much more valuable!! (Graham is VP of Customer Service)

To learn more about the certification program, visit:

9:53 a.m.  

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