SelectOne Blog

Don’t Let Compensation “Trick” You


Like it or not, compensation is still the primary factor in attracting and keeping the best employees.

Yes, there are other factors that influence an employees level of job satisfaction, but compensation continues to be the primary factor in an employee’s decision to leave a company. A recent Survey by Career Builder, found sixty-six percent of respondents who were dissatisfied with their jobs cited salary as the number one reason why.

Unfortunately, many companies in Western New York (particularly smaller to mid-size companies that don’t frequently hire large volumes of employees) may not know they have issues with their salary structure until it’s too late. A recent survey in Buffalo Business First asked respondents if they believed their salary is keeping up with inflation, and seventy-six percent responded, “No.” This is a simmering problem for many companies and without a proactive approach, the problem may boil over resulting in losing talented employees.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to be proactive and keep your employees from being disillusioned over their compensation.

Identify key employees.  Chances are there are a few key employees who will disproportionately impact your business should they leave. Identify those employees and make sure they are always properly compensated.

Survey your employees. Employee surveys are a great way to get anonymous feedback from those who know your company the best. A simple Survey Monkey survey, done anonymously, can solicit employee feedback on company culture, employee compensation and benefits, as well as other information that may be critical to the future of your company.

Review job boards.  A simple search on Monster or Indeed for the position in question should give you a tentative idea on salary ranges for similar positions in the area.

Talk to a recruiter in the know!  A good recruiter is one of the best resources you can use to find out salary information in your market. They are likely working on similar jobs with other companies and will have salary data from many candidates with varying skills currently in their database.

Solicit feedback from industry peers. Most people have friends or industry peers in similar roles. Solicit their opinion (in confidence of course) about their pay practices, and their thoughts on a particular person or position in your company you may be unsure about.

Enlist compensation experts. Many Human Resource consulting practices have a compensation expert who can readily benchmark salaries you’re curious about and can perform a specific study into the salary structure at your organization.

Consult market relevant salary surveys. Specific market relevant salary data is often hard to find but if you look in the right places you might just find a great way to determine the proper salaries for your Finance or Engineering and Operations professionals. 

When it comes to ensuring the best people stay with your company, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Avoid having to make a counteroffer to that great employee you don’t want to lose. Take the initiative and stay ahead of the market by ensuring your compensation is competitive, and by being prepared when that key employee has a salary concern.


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