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Successful Transparent Remuneration Communications

It seems there may be several elements worth taking into account when embracing transparency in our remuneration communications.

Developing a Solid Remuneration Strategy

The starting point is to recognise that your remuneration strategy is the key foundation to any salary and benefits discussions. It is in essence one of the important ingredients in the organisation’s engagement recipe that seeks to attract and hold other parts together.

While previously much more simplistic, remuneration has, to some extent, exploded into an area of operations that now requires significant professional input and closer management.

It can no longer be a “set and forget” approach, especially as so many organisations are currently embracing a growth mindset. It must align closely with your strategy and accommodate the winds of change and market trends that your organisation is currently facing.

Questions Enterprise Care faces when offering advice and when reviewing Remuneration strategies for NFP organisations:

  • what might the remuneration be in the commercial sector?
  • ought there be included a pay-for-performance aspect?
  • how can we justify paying more than the market?
  • how do we communicate this difference to other staff?
  • is there an objective basis to validate the decision?
  • what if the person doesn’t perform?
  • can we reduce the high remuneration that now seems to be locked in?

Make sure your organisation has a robust, succinct and approved overarching remuneration strategy that aligns with the organisation’s current strategy. Define whether your approach emphasises pay for performance, competitive positioning, or other factors. In simple terms, be very clear about timing and criteria for adjustments.

Demonstrating Transparency

All elements of remuneration need careful consideration, including:

  • the setting of the base salary organisation-wide
  • establishing what are the banding options
  • providing a range of benefits
  • noting how they are to be allocated
  • capturing the position that they may be offered as part of the package
  • outlining the role of performance reviews
  • setting out if those reviews have any implications for remuneration decisions
  • do pay-for-performance options get taken into consideration
  • what about possible bonuses – individually and/or group opportunities
  • are there clear career advancement opportunities and promotions

Essentially, it is crucial to present a clear picture of fairness. Employees need to understand how remuneration decisions are made. Being open about how base salary increases, benefits are allocated and offered, possible performance incentives and/or bonuses, and promotions are handled, builds trust and ensures fairness organisation-wide.

Managing Expectations

Set realistic expectations regarding remuneration. Clearly communicate how performance impacts pay and what employees can realistically expect. It is so important to approach this with a view to avoid surprises.

And the following offer suggestions as to the best ways in doing this:

  • link discussions with your organisation’s approved and easily understood Remuneration Strategy
  • ensure that your organisation’s remuneration philosophy acts as a guiding principle
  • use the philosophy to align remuneration decisions with organisational goals and values
  • given employees are much more aware of market rates, then it becomes essential to undertake regular benchmarking to ensure the levels of remuneration are at least competitive
  • be prepared to change remuneration levels to align with market trends in a timely manner
  • look to communicate your organisation’s remuneration strategy openly and be prepared to respond to queries and/or challenges
  • ensure that policies and decision-making processes can be easily explained
  • a more flexible approach in both performance evaluations and in remuneration reviews and decisions may need to be considered
  • initiate discussions around growth and its impact on remuneration taking into account whether some conversations are likely to motivate or demotivate
  • maintain monitoring of short-term gains with overall sustainable practices
  • centre the importance on what the whole remuneration package might mean to an employee
  • confirm the manager’s understanding of each employee they have responsibility for their needs and aspirations
  • respond appropriately to each employee’s feedback in a timely and complete manner

Remember, this journey is no longer singularly focussed on market data, position descriptions and pay bands. It now, importantly, includes a more personal and nuanced, engagement curating a remuneration that is fit for the individual’s purpose, wrapped up in the organisation’s philosophy and remuneration strategy. Remember, employees are far less likely to be disappointed or suspicious or aggrieved with a decision if they can understand why it was made, the foundations which informed the decision and ultimately the objectivity in its application.

Your organisation’s remuneration needs to be able to stand up to scrutiny. And that’s where Enterprise Care can be called upon.

Whether it is:

  1. benchmarking your salaries;
  2. creating a robust, scalable and defensible organisational remuneration structure or
  3. obtaining an expert report on your current arrangements;
  4. reviewing of present position descriptions and their relationship to remuneration levels; or
  5. managing the entire remuneration review process from start to finish, ensuring an effective, smooth and fair

then Enterprise Care is a great place to start the discussion.

How we can help you

Enterprise Care has been providing specialist NFP benchmarking services across Australia for over 25 years. If you’d like to find out more about these services, contact Enterprise Care through or alternatively visit the website:

DISCLAIMER: This article is general only in nature and is not advice.