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Compensation: Staying Ahead of the Game

By Mary Barefoot, AgCareers.com Director of HR Services

 

Compensation can be confusing and frustrating to manage for many reasons. If a compensation package is too low, you may lose the employee to your top competitor. If you are paying too much, you are hurting your business’s bottom line. Knowing what to pay is half the battle, then how do you structure it, and how do you communicate it to employees.

There are numerous benefits to implementing or improving compensation strategy within your organization. It is vital that companies compensate employees appropriately if they want to attract and retain top talent. Losing or missing out on these employees can be detrimental to any business, as they are often key in organizational successful. Having a proactive compensation plan is an opportunity to reinforce your commitment to employees with a process that is both positive and encouraging.

Benchmarking provides companies with insight as to their position within the market relative to pay and benefits. Companies can then use that information to determine where they need to make improvements and focus efforts based on a customized strategy that supports business goals. In addition, benchmarking assists with compensation budget planning, as the workforce in one of the largest costs incurred by a company. 

A key benefit that employers often overlook during this process is the potential to boost employee morale. Aligning business objectives with compensation is a best practice that can also be used to communicate a clear and effective message throughout an organization. Whether you are establishing a comp strategy for the first time or carrying out a preceding annual process, it is important to stay consistent and ensure employees are informed. A consistent and well communicated effort will require that human resources, finance, and all levels of management are on the same page and take time to reinforce a firm and steady plan. Extra effort in these areas initially will lay the foundation for employees to perceive the process in a positive light, assisting in employee cooperation and minimizing resistance.

Looking at your compensation structure says that you care about your employees and want to effectively manage a vital job satisfier. Employees often feel that salaries are neglected or avoided and even considered a low priority. This perception may have been amplified by salary freezes, deferred performance pay and loss of benefits. Taking a proactive approach to improve your pay structure reassures your workforce they are receiving competitive salary and benefits from entry-level to experienced professional. Regardless of the scenario, employees will certainly appreciate that their salaries are being discussed, benchmarked, and of course fairly and consistently managed. 

If your company is in need of compensation data that is specific to the agriculture industry, please contact AgCareers.com today and inquire about the Compensation Benchmark Review™, an agribusiness salary survey. Data is available now and benchmarks over 330 positions from a variety of agribusiness companies across the US and Canada. In Canada, there are over 11,000 employee benchmarks and over 60,000 benchmarks in the US database. 

New data for 2013 was released in the past months; please contact compensation@agcareers.com today to find out how you can become involved and get started benchmarking your company’s positions.