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By: Jay Mittelman
Are you paying fair wages to your employees? Do the wages motivate your employees? Find out by classifying or ranking the job positions in your workplace.
Example: Is the position of stockperson in your store worth more or less than what the average stockperson makes at other grocery stores?
Example: Is a stockperson more important than a cashier, a secretary, a bookkeeper?
Example: A stockperson in your store not only stocks shelves. He or she also checks in orders and makes suggestions on inventory. This person comes in on Sundays and washes and waxes the floors. How do these skills compare with those of other positions?
Make sure your employees understand that a wage and salary ranking plan will make for fairer and more equitable wages. Answer their questions early:
Will you immediately raise the wages of your stockpersons if your ranking plan shows they are underpaid? What will happen if your cashiers make too much money? Will you cut their pay, freeze their income? Answer these questions before you even begin your study. You will have fewer headaches if you have to reduce pay.
Don’t over-emphasize market factors. You could bid up salaries if you pay too much attention to competition. You might pay unfair wages and salaries because of inequities in the job market.
Don’t give unfair advantage to some workers. Because your produce manager happens to be a likable person, don’t assume the position is worth more money than the position of meat manager. Emphasizing certain job skills may discriminate against minorities.
Example: Emphasizing physical strength in your job analysis will favor men. And academic education may or may not be more important than vocational training.
A major problem in compensating employees is paying those with highly specialized skills. You may not feel such skills deserve the going rates. But because of the job market conditions, you have no choice but to pay this rate.
Example: You decide to provide kosher meats to the Jewish community in your city. You need to hire a kosher butcher. Such a specialized skill as this will probably cost you more than a regular butcher.
What to do: Choose a ranking plan that fits your needs. Discuss it with your employees. Stick with the plan you have chosen.