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A New Look Upon the Management of Jobs and Salaries

Far from exhausting the discussion or reflection about this matter, the objective of this article is to aid in the understanding of the real significance of the implementation of a Salaries and Positions Management Program within organizations.

Whenever the idea of introducing a Salaries and Positions Management Program is presented to businessmen, the answer is usually: “We will think about it. But we cannot  raise salaries at the moment.”

This type of answer combined with the lack of a more comprehensive understanding of the person presenting this issue, and the absence of a systemic vision to show the foundations of the program, may cause a project, which can strengthen the processes by which the company manages personnel, to be dismissed.

In my opinion, this matter should definitely be viewed under a different light, a different focus, in order to create favorable and sustainable conditions within organizations in the medium and long term. A focus set on the structuring of a program that makes it possible to organize, discipline and generate evidence, to create transparence in personnel management, according to the role each person has in the work process, through the conduction of their responsibilities and activities.

Regardless of company size, market segment, location or origin of capital, all companies can have a program. What may change are the tools used in the design of the plan, considering project complexity and level of investment.

So, the first questions to be answered should be: Why are we implementing this program? Which levels/positions are going to consider in the plan? Are we going for a traditional plan, by competences, or a hybrid? What are the expected results? Are we developing the plan with internal resources or are we going to look for a partner to help us build the model?

Naturally, answers are going to arise, which are specific to each organization, and the sales strategy of the project must be devised based on such evidence. As a contribution, I would like to point out some aspects, which may set the basis and give support to the program and generate the foundations necessary for project validation:

Identify; know the existing functions, and establish competences and skills necessary for people to perform and/or be capacitated for such positions.

Such information is going to form a description of the positions, and will be of outmost importance for the recruiting and selection process (internal or external), as well as to facilitate the process of training and development, identifying gaps (the differences between the competences required for the job and those of the people who actually do the jobs), contribute for the performance evaluation process and give support to feedback actions.

Such descriptions are used for certification and/or rectification processes of quality systems, and to show employees the role each function plays within the organization, as well as fulfill some legal requirements (Ex.: PPP – Professional Professiographic Profile).

Also, based on such descriptions, it is possible to create a tool to assess internal relativity among positions, which is technically referred to as Job Evaluation. It must be emphasized that each job is important, but the relative importance among jobs is surely different, this can be seen whenever one considers the nature of tasks, complexity of activities, freedom to act within the position, the policies, norms, procedures and orientation present in the process, as well as the requirements and/or competences and/or skills required.

The next step is to organize a possible growth plan within the organization, which is known as Career Plan. The Career Plan must be structured in order to give employees the conditions of growth, by considering premises that will be established within the policies. Openings, fulfillment of competence and skill requirements, and minimum length ofemployment in the company, may be some standard indicators.

Based on all the information collected internally, it is possible to conduct benchmarking and ascertain how competitive your company is in relation to the market. The tool to be used in this phase is the conduction of a Salary and Compensation Survey among companies, that are representative of in the market where the company operates (same segment or not), which will in turn be used as a referential for the compensation strategy alignment.

Then, it is possible for the company to make a decision. By knowing the internal and external reality, it can define how it is going to manage salaries and positions. What is the level of investment of the payroll? How much can the business withstand? Which positions should be more, or less, competitive in relation to the market? What is my position? How can I recognize talent and/or key employees?

Surely, different answers will arise for each organization, and the management strategy must then be based on the diagnosis conducted.

Therefore, the main objective of the Salaries and Positions Management Program is not to readjust salaries. The Program will indicate actions to be taken, including compensation, but the final decision will be up to the management of the organization.

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