Job evaluation, according to Wikipedia, is a systemic way to determine the value (or worth) of one job relative to another in the same organization. The process requires jobs be compared on skill, effort, responsibility and working condition factors. Then, an objective, appropriate and defensible salary range can be established for each job. It’s not about the person who does the job, but it is about making sure the person doing the job is paid fairly, relative to what other people in other jobs do in the organization. That’s called pay equity, or equal pay for work of equal value.
There is growing public awareness and sensitivity to ‘fairness’ issues. Evolving organizational cultures and government legislation (federal and provincial/state) are reflective of this. For some organizations, this perspective is being assumed because of a need to be seen working within the letter and the spirit of the law. There can be significant financial consequences for not doing so.
Other organizations have recognized the potential competitive advantage it creates for attracting and retaining the very best talent.
Job Evaluation is both a ‘science’ and an ‘art’. Its about getting the facts right. Securing as much information about the job as realistically possible, knowing where to look for the missing ‘bits’, talking to job content experts, and asking all the right questions. But its also about translating, blending and massaging ‘facts’ into a result that will stand the test of compensation ‘fairness’.
Done well, its worth every penny and minute of the time invested. Pay equity can be proven, and employee compensation can be justified. Job expectations can be made clear, and competitive advantage can be assured. How? By ensuring the most talented people in the marketplace, those people who can choose to work for whichever organization they want to, want to work for yours.
If your organization doesn’t have a job evaluation system in place, you might want to think about it. Most consulting firms will tell you there is real value to implementing a ‘good’ job evaluation system. We agree with that. The benefits always far outweigh the costs – and almost immediately.
But theirs is not a total value perspective. That view would recognize every job has someone doing it, and holding people accountable for the work they are paid to do is actually two sides of the same coin.
A total value perspective links job evaluation to performance management. It ensures that what is important in the job is also important in the performance review – automatically and consistently;
- No generic forms,
- No subjectivity,
- No guess work about what to include in the review,
- No employee misunderstanding about what the expectations are.
Just a system generated list of easy to answer job-specific questions that are automatically tied to each employee performance review. Saving time for the reviewer while increasing the quality and objectivity of their feedback.
There’s more. If what was numerically expected (from job evaluation) was the basis of measuring what was numerically demonstrated (from performance reviews) there would be no translation required to identify what employee training needs were. The largest differences would always highlight and prioritize individual and team training needs. Indeed, in the same way, organizations could quantify the effectiveness of their training through year-over-year changes in employee skills.
There is also a significant impact on succession planning that a total value perspective brings. Employee performance history can be used to identify potential candidates by matching what is required in a job to what people have demonstrated in their past performance. This ensures no one ever gets overlooked for an opportunity. Every job in the organization can have a succession plan, and further demonstrates how an organization truly values their staff.
The reason you may be hearing about a ‘total value’ perspective for the first time is because the best-known job evaluation methodologies can’t give you that link. They truly are standalone processes, helping organizations establish fair pay for each employee, but not holding job incumbent performance to those same standards.
Which leads me to ask a few questions….
If your organization doesn’t have an established link between job evaluation and performance management, then what are employee performance reviews based on, and what is their quality? How is it possible to know training always addresses the most significant, job specific needs of every employee – let alone prove it? How is it possible to know that the very best candidates for any particular job in your organization have not been overlooked? And, what is the real cost and impact of management decisions founded in subjectivity?
Please give us a call. Our team at enCompassing Visions would love to show you how we manage it – successfully.
Douglas A.W. Chapman
Founder and Managing Director