Trish McFarlane 00:09
What is pay equity? It is dynamic. It's not like you just have the conversation once it's continually checking in with the people on your team. You know, what, what does equity look like for you?
Garry Straker 00:21
And I don't know that there's any organization out there that would declare that they have perfect equity within their workforce.
Trish McFarlane 00:28
But it could be that your company actually is paying fairly. And maybe you're just not communicating that.
Kevin Plunkett 00:35
Can it negatively impact your company culture?
Garry Straker 00:38
I think though, the worst thing you can do is be vague, and not clear. Because employees will, you know, interpret that differently.
Trish McFarlane 00:47
potential employees are very savvy when it comes to the way that you're handling yourself. And whether or not you're proactive or reactive, fixing it is not easy. Don't just go after the low hanging fruit. It's not about just giving, you know, the group that's the loudest, an extra dollar an hour, that's not going to solve your problems,
Garry Straker 01:05
you need to be sure that those pay disparities, hopefully are not, you know, illegal pay practices.
Kevin Plunkett 01:12
And those conversations are never easy,
Trish McFarlane 01:15
I think is, is going to make it more comfortable for everyone to have the conversations which are definitely going to be very uncomfortable.
Kevin Plunkett 01:23
It's clear, a peanut butter approach is not the answer,
Trish McFarlane 01:27
just as you wouldn't parent to children the same way because it doesn't work. Right, the same parenting approach doesn't work. You know, you want to make sure it's equitable. But it doesn't have to be the same.
Kevin Plunkett 01:39
This is not a problem you could ignore.
Garry Straker 01:40
But I think the scrutiny and focus around pay disparities is going to reach a level that we haven't seen. I think in recent years, even despite all the relatively new pay equity legislation.
Kevin Plunkett 01:46
It will not be solved quickly.
Trish McFarlane 01:56
When you're talking about pay equity. And to Gary's point about it's not something you can do overnight. It is a journey. It's not trying to fix everything at once it's really trying to find where the biggest pain points are.
Kevin Plunkett 02:09
The journey will not be easy
Garry Straker 02:11
It's important to sort of recognize that we have to navigate that bump in the road. Hopefully, we're not without letting it derail us, right without creating, you know, just a train wreck that we can never recover from.
Trish McFarlane 02:22
But it's really just about making sure each individual understands where they are relative to the market, and why you're paying them the way you're paying them.
Garry Straker 02:32
I like to think of it in terms of establishing a tolerable threshold for what is appropriate and permissible within your organization based on your culture and values.
Kevin Plunkett 02:45
Perfection, we know is unattainable. But there has to be a more realistic goal
Garry Straker 02:50
and perfect equity, you know, maybe a again, a noble aspiration, but it may be something that is not achievable, at least right now.
Kevin Plunkett 03:00
Easier said than done. Pay Equity, a noble aspiration, or an achievable reality. We'll explore it right here on the get pay right podcast. From the salary.com studio in Waltham, Massachusetts, this is get pay, right? The podcast that dives deep into the current compensation topics that matter to you most, so you can get it right every time. Welcome to the Get Pay Right podcast. I'm your host, Kevin Plunkett and I'm looking forward to today's discussion, which will set her on pay equities pivotal role in organizational culture, diversity and inclusion. We recently surveyed over 500 employees. And when we asked them, what they cared about what considering an employer compensation was number one, with organizational culture coming in a close second. These results make it clear that compensation and organizational culture are intertwined and play a major role in employee attraction and engagement. At Salary.com we believe every employee should have a clear understanding of how their pay is determined. And with that knowledge, an organization can build trust with their employees, which of course plays a key role in both employee retention and recruitment. And what our survey results and conversations with customers have told us is that the understanding of how pay is determined is just not happening on a broad scale. Only a third of companies have a pay philosophy that supports transparency. And only a third of companies say their managers can accurately answer an employee who asks, how's my pay determined? Also of concern, we asked employees, do you feel that the pay practices at your organization support efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion? And 67% said, no, they have no idea. So how can organizations make progress towards pay equity and in the process, a culture of trust. I'm happy to welcome two guests who can help us understand the role that pay equity and pay transparency play in a healthy organizational culture. Trish McFarlane and Garry Straker, both of you please give us just a snippet of your extensive backgrounds.
Trish McFarlane 05:55
Thank you so much. I am excited to be here with you, Kevin and with Garry. My name is Trish McFarlane I am a former HR professionals spent about two decades of my life doing that moved into HR technology, and but have really been focused on pay pay equity compensation throughout my entire career. So I'm excited to come on and share some of the insights I've gained over the years. And also to learn something new from both you and Gary.
Kevin Plunkett 06:24
I'm sure we'll learn more from you, then you from Garry,
Garry Straker 06:29
well, I'm happy to be here too little bit like Trish. I've been at this for over two decades, my focus is really in helping elevate the employee experience by building rewards programs that are sustainable, internally equitable, and market competitive. And all the years that I've been doing this, I've never seen a time like, like we're in today. And so it's such a dynamic evolving labor market, it's just been a lot of fun and exciting to be able to do this work and help organizations you know, get paid, right? So really happy to be here.
Kevin Plunkett 07:00
There's a lot to uncover here. Culture is a word that carries a slightly different definition for different people. And pay equity is a bit of a newcomer to the cultural conversation. While it's always been a factor, recent societal and legislative changes, along with employee demands, have brought the element of pay equity to the forefront. So let me ask you both, how is pay equity, helping to define what culture means for an organization?
Trish McFarlane 07:32
Well, I can tackle that first if you'd like. I think for me, when I think of culture, it's really about the values that the organization demonstrates and the behaviors over time. And with pay equity, it goes back a little bit to different generations where maybe you were raised up in your organization where it was not okay to talk about pay, maybe you were even taught or told it was not okay to talk about pay, it's something you keep private. And what that's done over the decades has built this sort of wall around transparency and the way that people will feel comfortable that they're being paid fairly. As you started the show, I know you mentioned that in the survey, respondents were saying that, you know, the organizational values were not communicated around pay and pay equity. And what I've found in my career is that can be true. But it could be that your company actually is paying fairly, and maybe you're just not communicating that. So for me, the way that the to culture and pay equity go hand in hand is really a little bit more around communication and real examination than anything else.
Garry Straker 08:43
Yeah, Trish, I certainly would concur. And I think what's different about the environment we're in today is that expectations have changed, certainly amongst employees in terms of looking at the types of organizations they want to work with. They want to be sure that organizations demonstrate the same kind of values that are important to them. And it's not just what they say it's what they do. And so making sure that pay practices are consistent with what's being communicated in the values, but also, in the current environment. There has never been more scrutiny. And we're expecting to see in the coming months here, new human capital disclosure requirements being issued by the SEC. And of course, this has been a topic that's been going on for a few years now. But so many organizations are focused on environmental, social and governance issues nowadays, and it's important for investors, certainly, but it's also important for employees. Yeah, that's a good point, Garry.
Kevin Plunkett 09:38
I mean, I think the clarity comes from both the top down and the bottom up. But I think employees have their set of expectations around pay transparency, and leadership has their own set of expectations, which can create conflict, and in some cases, generational differences around patrons piracy can also create conflict. So I don't I don't know. But you Trish, but I was raised in a generation where you didn't talk about pay was a taboo subject. But the younger generations today, they don't seem to have the same concerns. So how do these generational differences impact the definition of pay equity and organizational culture?
Trish McFarlane 10:21
You know, I think that you're right, there is a difference in generation and many of us who have, you know, become leaders in our, you know, sort of handling this far organizations, if we're taught that you don't talk about it, we know that the, you know, upcoming generations who are now overwhelmingly going to be taking those leadership roles are more comfortable with talking about pay, I think what's what's best to think about when it comes to pay transparency, that does not mean opening up the doors so that everyone knows what everyone else makes. And that might be I'll speak for myself, that might be a fear that, you know, someone of my age group of Gen X, or, or baby members might think that that's what that means. What to me, what it really means when you're talking about pay transparency, is making sure that that individual understands why they're being paid, what they're being paid, and how that fits in the organization, both with their value, maybe their education, maybe their experience, depending on how long they've been in that role, or, or in the industry, for example. So I think that if we can start communicating with people who have been in the organization longer, who are maybe in leadership roles, that it's really not about kind of just uncovering everyone's pay and sort of serving it up to the to the masses, right. But it's really just about making sure each individual understands where they are relative to the market, and why you're paying them the way you're paying them.
Garry Straker 11:50
Yeah, Trish. And I would follow up on that and add that that's important for not only current employees, but potential job candidates. And you know, what we are seeing a little bit a little bit of a trend in terms of new legislation requiring wage range disclosures in various parts of the country. I think that that's going to continue. But I think regardless of what legislative or compliance activity exists in the marketplace, I think employers are recognizing that in the current market, they need to differentiate themselves, and they need to elevate the employee experience and meet the expectations of employees and job candidates. And I, I think if you're not doing that, you're really at a competitive disadvantage, because I just don't know that a lot of organizations are going to be able to sustain the level of pay increases that we've been seeing recently in the market.
Trish McFarlane 12:42
Well, and Garry, I think to when you say that, it's important for people to not wait for legislation to dictate how you run your business, right? It's, it's being proactive, sort of like you're suggesting, it's making sure that you're doing those, I'll do air quotes with those right things, by your candidates, and by your employees. I think too, it's okay, if you don't have money to just throw at every new hire, that walks in the door in such a tight labor market, being able to have those conversations and say, here are all the other benefits and the ways that your career will be differentiated with our company, pay being one of them, and show them over time. Maybe, you know, the first three years might look like this, the first five years might look like that, I can help you have those conversations and not wait for sort of the slap on the wrist from legislation that comes down sort of forcing you to do something because potential employees are very savvy when it comes to the way that you're handling yourself. And whether or not you're proactive or reactive.
Kevin Plunkett 13:42
You both make great points. I mean, you have to meet the market where it is. And we've all seen, we're in an incredibly dynamic market right now. And there's a tendency to have a knee jerk reaction of putting a bandaid on to solve for this trend, and hope it goes away. But I think we all know, this is not a trend. And the expectation for achieving pay equity and trust is here to stay in companies. They just need to figure out a way to achieve it. And this is what I mean when I say it's coming from the bottom up, recruiters tasked with building an employee base are finding how important pay equity and culture is to potential employees. I mean, these recruiters will feel it more acutely than the folks in leadership. And that may lead to them defining pay equity differently than leadership. Right? It's, it's like I tell my kids when we're having company, I need you to clean your rooms. Well, their definition of clean is very different than mine. Much like in an organization, what pay equity means to be personally may be different than what it means to someone we just hired. So how can HR begin to understand these different definitions and expectations of pay equity and ultimately get everyone on the same page?
Trish McFarlane 14:58
You know, it starts with just question You have to ask those hard questions. And you have to also as a leader be open that your way much like you as a parent, Kevin, it, it is a way, but it might not be the best way, or the most current way or the way that's going to work right now, as you mentioned in a dynamic time of leadership. So I think having those conversations openly with any new hires, and having those conversations with your existing employees to find out, and it's not a one and done, right, it is dynamic. It's not like you just have the conversation once it's continually checking in with the people on your team. You know, what, what does equity look like for you? Because, you know, as someone who's worked a long time, I might have a little more patience, and understanding that my boss is going to get me where I think I need to be over a longer period of time. And maybe someone more junior might not have that life experience yet.
Kevin Plunkett 15:56
So or trust or trust in New York? Correct. Right.
Trish McFarlane 15:59
Right. And and I think too, it doesn't have to be the same for every employee, right? Just as you wouldn't parent two children the same way, because it doesn't work. Right, the same parenting approach doesn't work. You know, you want to make sure it's equitable, but it doesn't have to be the same. So I think that's important to just remind yourself as you're thinking about the approach, and I think that would tear down some of the barriers that are there already.
Kevin Plunkett 16:24
I think this brings up another really good point, how are you defining pay equity for your organization, I mean, it's going to be different for your organization, than for your competitor down the street. And it could be even a different definition from within different levels of your organization.
Garry Straker 16:43
Yeah. And I also think it's, it's an evolution and organizations need to be honest with themselves about, you know, the current state in terms of where they are, and understanding that, you know, where they would like to be in terms of their aspirations may require a journey, and a process. And I think engaging key stakeholders in that process. And that kind of include employees in that journey is important as you as you sort of go down this road. And so I think it's, for many, you know, culture is, is always changing and shifting, and it's a work in progress for a lot of organizations. And I don't know that there's any organization out there that would declare that they have perfect equity within their workforce, perfect equity, you know, maybe a very noble and bold aspiration, that could mean lots of different things, you know, to different people, as Trish mentioned earlier, but I think more than anything else, employees want to know that their employee has good intentions, right, and is taking the necessary steps and actions knowing that, you know, change might not happen overnight. And it may take a little bit of time. But at least if they're on the same page in terms of what direction they're going in, and what the the overall intent and aspiration of the organization is, I think employees find comfort in that.
Kevin Plunkett 18:02
Alright, so let me summarize what you're saying. And feel free to chime in. But what I'm hearing is, it's different for every organization. And it's different for different levels within the organization. And you have to be dynamic and flexible. And you have to meet the market where it is, and understand how pay equity aligns with their goals as an organization.
Garry Straker 18:24
Yeah, I think all those things are important, Kevin, achieving pay equity,
Kevin Plunkett 18:28
and a transparent culture is a big initiative that goes well beyond checking a compliance box. So how do you get leadership on board?
Trish McFarlane 18:35
You know, the first thing that popped into my mind is that you have to take their blinders off. Again, sort of back to that generational difference with pay, we've, you know, I've administered pay for many, many years with all levels of leadership, and we really only give them access to see pay for their specific department or group or team. And they never are shown or even talked to, in my experience about the bigger picture of what is our pay strategy. I've only had one employer in my life where we really talked about pay strategy on a wider scale with our leadership team. And even then it was still a little bit, you know, they didn't actually see the numbers for from all the other groups until you got to that highest level. So I think the first thing is to just take the blinders off for your your leaders start explaining what your company culture is going to value when it comes to the way you pay your employees and your you know, your new hires.
Kevin Plunkett 19:32
That Trish, I like what you said there. So how do you go about taking those blinders off? I mean, how do you demonstrate to leadership that you got a problem?
Trish McFarlane 19:42
Well, for me, I think that's where you really need to as as the HR leader, or maybe in combination with your CFO, you really need to take a more proactive approach to thinking about the strategic side of the way you pay people. I know a lot of HR professionals that We're trained that way I happen to be trained that way. But there are a lot who are not trained that way and are sort of thrown into, here's your pool of money. Now do with it what, what you will. So I think the first step is, is actually having some education around the way that you're paying people using research, for example, I mean, you know, what the, you know, at the top of the show, you mentioned, you have new research out, it's going to those resources and taking those back to that senior leadership level, to talk about, pay with them, making sure they understand some of the benefits of having transparency and having discussions. Because for me, I know that a lot of what we're talking about comes from the bottom up, the demand, of course, comes from the bottom up. But the overarching strategy around why we're going to pay people in a certain means, to me comes a little bit from the top down, and without that initial education, it cannot come. So it just becomes very reactionary. It's like, oh, we're going to make this hire for this hard to fill role. We're gonna throw a ton of money at this person, without much thought to what that's going to do to the other positions down the road. So yeah, just being much more thoughtful. At the outset, I would say is the first step.
Garry Straker 21:15
Yeah. And I think it needs to be supported by, you know, credible data and analysis. And we talk so much about data analytics these days, but certainly understanding the potential risk in framing any discussions around pay practices and policies around, you know, mitigating risk, and looking at your current state and trying to identify, is there any exposure there, you know, that has a way of getting the attention of, you know, financial and organizational leaders, but, but the the flip side of that is also being clear about, what are the advantages, you know, what, what are the benefits of going down this path, and, and being able to sort of put some stakes in the ground in terms of what impact you're seeing as far as retention, you know, in terms of being able to, to recruit and compete in the marketplace
Kevin Plunkett 22:06
on a, you know, the data point, I think, is a good one, but it's not just the one time, right, you're, you're pulling this data, and then managing and monitoring it moving forward to demonstrate growth and demonstrate, you know, progress towards towards this kind of goal. And that's just now kind of an ongoing thing versus a one time thing, correct?
Garry Straker 22:27
I think it is. And I think increasingly, even if you looked at the competitive environment, we're going to see, and we're already seeing this, organizations being pretty forthcoming about disclosing some of their human capital metrics, and not uncommon to go to corporate websites today, and see their diversity dashboard, right, their diversity, equity, inclusion, metrics and benchmarks which they have been sharing, not only internally with their workforce, but externally to, you know, customers and investors and other stakeholders to demonstrate that they are moving in the right direction. And I think we're going to see more of that.
Kevin Plunkett 23:04
So how many organizations do you think feel that approach and pay equity? It's like opening Pandora's box. I mean, they're not used to sharing data. They're not used to sharing period. And they believe when you share information, you lose a competitive advantage.
Trish McFarlane 23:22
Absolutely. When you ask the question, I was thinking like, 100%. I mean, you know, if you think about it, as an individual, right, if you were going to go out and start dating, for example, you're not going to want to share all the skeletons in your closet, right? From your entire life history, there's going to be a little bit right, you're going to put your best self forward. Right, right. No, but I think hiring is very much the same. It's, and it's not that there aren't maybe necessarily bad skeletons, but just you know, every organization has times of great years, bad years, you know, good things, they do bad things they do. And so I think when you're talking about starting the employee lifecycle and recruitment, you're, you're wanting to put your best foot forward. And so therefore, I don't know that it's that they're wanting to be secretive. It's just never been a necessity before. It's never, you know, you know, I'm 51 years old, I've never gone to a company when I was younger and said, Oh, tell me all about your pay practices when I'm interviewing. Right? So I think to the questions have changed and evolved in a good way. And it's just now that organizations need to feel like this is actually a really interesting time because instead of it being something that's not discussed, it really is an advantage to you know, have your recruiters, your frontline people, bringing people in your organization, understanding why you pay the way you do, and whether or not that's equitable and how that's going to impact the entire employee relationship. It's it starts at your front door.
Garry Straker 24:56
Yeah, I agree with you. Trish. I think we're going to get to point where employees are going to start looking for that level of disclosure. And it's going to vary, you know, from from each organization, but they're going to look for some signal that what this organization says is consistent with what they do. And, and if there's a disconnect there, you're going to get called out on that. And it's, it's going to become pretty obvious, especially in the competitive environment, we're in pretty obvious in terms of which organizations really are walking the walk. And I think employees are going to get more sophisticated and more savvy, and making sure that they're understand what they're getting into whenever they join an organization.
Kevin Plunkett 25:41
And I think I sort of, sort of characterize it as sort of secrecy, but I think it's probably more of just a fear of sharing, right, a fear of sharing data. Either A, they may not even know that it's good, right? I mean, they make, you know, organization may be afraid to share, because, like they don't didn't even know what the benchmark is, or if there is a benchmark. But I think, to your point into all of your points, is don't worry about the benchmark, just the fact that you're out there sharing it, you're ahead of the game, you're doing more than most folks are today. How does one communicate pay equity? And, and what are successful strategies for doing so?
Garry Straker 26:21
You know, I think the the the messaging and the communications around this can't be understated, I think it's just really important that organizations spend time and commit to investing and making sure that their, that their communication strategy really does support all of the the work that's being done, you know, to shape and define culture and improve pay practices and policies. And I think, to extend that messaging is ubiquitous and consistent across the organization, that just creates a common understanding, because I think the worst thing you can do is be vague, and not clear. Because employees will, you know, interpret that differently. Yeah,
Trish McFarlane 27:07
I think Garry's right on it with the consistency, I would say, put it in every meeting, anything that's important, should be mentioned. And so if that is the direction that your organization feels, you need to take to change your culture to be more open around, pay and pay equity makes that part of any major conversation you have from the top down so that it becomes more comfortable. And it becomes something that people understand that you are not afraid to talk about.
Kevin Plunkett 27:38
So it's a so it's both consistency and frequency them.
Trish McFarlane 27:42
I think so.
Garry Straker 27:42
And I think there needs to be some accountability at all levels of the organization around this. Because if if you are a manager of employees, you need to be accountable for making sure that you're communicating consistently and appropriately relate as it relates to pay. And that's not a skill set that a lot of managers have a lot of managers still feel very uncomfortable with that conversation. But as a manager of people, you have to be comfortable with that. And if you're not, you need to get the information needed so that you can reach that comfort level and get some additional training and support to make sure that you can have those compensations effectively.
Kevin Plunkett 28:20
Yeah, so let's talk about that for a sec, Garry, because I think that's a good point. How do you help your managers or your let's say, your organization, as a whole has not had a, it's not been a culture of sharing? How do you, you know, overcome that hurdle a bit and start to, you know, start the process of educating managers and the organization as a whole.
Garry Straker 28:44
You know, again, I think you've got to lay out a pretty well defined process. And I think this is where, you know, even internal marketing or communications professionals can, can be really helpful in this regard. It's not something that I think HR should, you know, carry the burden for exclusively, I think that there are, you know, multiple stakeholders who who should participate in that process. And you should engage, you know, as many of those as needed to make sure that your managers and leaders feel comfortable that they're getting the support and information they need to be able to talk credibly about this really important topic. That is, it's, you know, it's a very sensitive emotional topic for for just about everybody.
Trish McFarlane 29:29
I think managers also are not always aware of their own pay, and where they stand in the organization as well. I mean, we're sort of assuming, you know, managers and other leaders are all part of the, you know, the bigger picture and quite often in business, that's not the case, right. In an organization. You've got a ton of managers in the sort of that mid level who really are just they're trying to run their little piece of the, of the kingdom, if you will, and so they might not even understand what what their compensation and their pay is comprised of, and and what if they're not a good performer themselves. Now all of a sudden, we're going to expect them to be the mouthpiece to go out and sort of communicate effectively with their teams. So I think too, you have to look at what is the performance level of the management team that you have in place, and then to Garry's point, adding and layering in that training and education around how to have those conversations. But I would say make sure you're starting with them, make sure they know where they stand first and how that works. And why are you paying them the way you pay them?
Garry Straker 30:34
Trish, I love that. It's like a litmus test. Yeah. And so if you're a manager in your organization, I would encourage you to go to your manager and say, Can you please explain why I'm paid what I'm paid? And if you don't get a satisfactory answer to that question, that should tell you something. And that really, from there, you know, should lead hopefully to a more honest conversation about some of the gaps.
Kevin Plunkett 30:57
Excellent. So let's talk about pay equities role in recruiting. We did a survey where 96% of HR pros said Pay Equity is a competitive advantage in the war for talent. So let me ask you, how do you balance trying to be equitable, while also knowing you have pay compression issues or GAAP issues within your organization,
Garry Straker 31:21
organizations have been very creative about introducing new new approaches to try to differentiate themselves in the market. But I think it's really important that employees understand that you basically are looking at this and responding in the short term, but you have a longer term vision, where your focus and commitment to pay equity is not going to be, you know, discarded or set aside just because of the current economic climate. And I think, again, coming back to employee expectations, employees will generally respond positively if they see that their employer is actually, you know, taking the necessary steps to make sure that they're the what they do, and what they say, are consistent in that, knowing that there going to be some ups and downs, and they're going to be some, you know, changes in the in the labor market dynamics, which mean, you might have to change how you do things. But in the in the long term, I think employers need to be sure that they're not losing sight of their goals and aspirations and vision as it relates to, you know, pay equity and diversity, equity inclusion, we're in a bump in the road right now. And it's important to sort of recognize that we have to, we have to navigate that bump in the road without letting it derail us, right without creating just a train wreck that we can never recover from. And I think a lot of work that needs to be done in that area, particularly now.
Kevin Plunkett 32:54
Right. So Garry, what I heard was that paying people more is an option. But not every organization will be able to do that and sustain that long term.
Trish McFarlane 33:04
I think this is the fun part for HR, right. So this is where you can get your team together, your leaders together, you can come up with really interesting strategies of what employees need at different phases of their life. And typically, historically, we've not seen a ton of this. But I would say start by asking your current employee base, based on where you are in life right now, if you had a wish list, what could the organization be doing to help you because you'll have people who are just maybe buying their first home, and they need education and help with that. Maybe they are putting you know, someone through college, maybe they're now caring for an elderly, parent or parents, and they need assistance and guidance on how to do that, you know, I have aging parents who, all of a sudden, I don't know how to do this, I don't know how to help help them. So if my organization is stepping up and giving me education around some of these life experiences I'm going to go through, that's probably more helpful than giving me you know, $1,000 more every year.
Kevin Plunkett 34:08
Interesting. I mean, after serving our company, our HR team had just started offering all the employees the calm app, and our head of HR told me the adoption rate was really high. So to your point, Trish asked employees what they need and want.
Trish McFarlane 34:24
Yeah, and that's what shows you care about your employees. I mean, that takes us all the way back to the first question about culture. If you're a culture of caring about your employees, you will get a little more forgiveness if you have and uncover areas where you are not paying as equitably currently as you would like to be.
Kevin Plunkett 34:44
And it's building that trust, like we talked about at the beginning, right? It's you know, if there's a level of trust between the organization and an employee that helps significantly with with an engaged workforce,
Trish McFarlane 34:56
absolutely. helps you get through those those roadblocks and the bumps in the road as Garry said, right? I mean, I kind of chuckled when he said that, but I thought, well, that's, that's spot on how how work is and how life is right, we're going, you know, you're going to have those big bumps. So you might as well think about other ways to prepare to handle those. And it's not always just pay. But it's, it's thinking about all of it collectively, and how it impacts your employee base.
Kevin Plunkett 35:25
This has been really great, thank you both so much. I mean, we've covered quite a bit like the importance of seeking input from leadership and employees to help define equity for your organization, are using data to identify gaps and manage the pay equity process, communicating consistently and frequently to your employees. And, Garry, you made a good point, that it's an iterative process, it's going to take some time. And Trish, you made a great point, that building trust with your employees base, will give you a much longer runway to address any issues. But at the end of the day, it's about making the effort, right show when the employees that you're working on it, and demonstrate some accountability. So what would you do to make an immediate impact on pay equity in your organization today?
Garry Straker 36:17
You know, ultimate, let me start with that. I mean, I think it's important as HR and rewards professionals, that we be extremely vigilant about making sure we are good stewards of pay practices and policies within our organization. And I think we have to be honest with ourselves about the current state and really help, you know, define maybe what the future state might be, and hopefully build some consensus around that. But I would say that, you know, there are incremental steps that you should, you should think about that you can take, and it may feel overwhelming to try to solve everything overnight, and take on, you know, the full scope of some of the things we've been talking about. But there are some incremental steps that you could probably define for yourself, so that you can begin to, you know, go down this path, and hopefully, take those steps that move you closer to where your aspirations lie.
Trish McFarlane 37:10
And you know what to sort of add on to what Garry's saying, I think that when you actually take a first step of assessing where your organization is, probably not as bad as you think it is, you might have, you know, fear of looking into this, but you'll probably be surprised that in many areas of your organization, you are paying equitably, because we have for many years, you know, use different ranges and benchmarking and all of the data. You know, I remember 20 plus years ago looking at Salary.com to, you know, understand pay and where things are. So I think we've give yourself a little bit of credit to start out, we've been talking about this before, maybe not to this level. So start there, I would say also don't just go after the low hanging fruit, it's not about just giving, you know, the group that's the loudest, an extra dollar an hour, that's not going to solve your problems. So really assess which roles in your organization need to be paid, maybe above market currently, which ones are driving your success currently, and then being able to have those conversations through education. I think the last thing I would tell our listeners would be to make it such a priority so that you have someone that if you're an HR, for example, pick a more junior HR professional on your team, tasked that person with staying current on what's going on in the industry, what's going on with pay equity, have them come back and report it and maybe it's a weekly report that you're getting from that individual that goes out to your whole team that that they can work on with you for your executive team about where the the topic of pay equity is going and then how your organization is sort of progressing toward better, more equitable pay for your employees.
Kevin Plunkett 39:05
The Get Pay Right podcast is produced by Kevin Plunkett, Mary Crogan and Megan Nadeau. If there are topics you'd like to hear about, let us know at Get Pay Right at Salary.com. A big thank you to our sound engineer Jay Sheehan of Garrett Audio. Thank you all for listening and make the time to get it right.