When most people hear the term compensation they think about "what a person is paid", yet this is only one aspect of a complex topic. Compensation includes not only salary, but also the direct and indirect rewards and benefits provided employees in return for their contribution to the organization. The more aligned the compensation system is with the organization's strategic goals and objectives, the fairer it is perceived to be. When all these aspects are considered, the term total compensation is commonly used.
Getting and keeping qualified employees is a common goal of most employers. Many ECEC organizations struggle to offer competitive compensation packages. While understanding that wages are a key consideration, it is important to remember that other factors such as quality of life and organizational culture are becoming more important to today's employees. In an executive survey conducted by Robert Half International, corporate culture rivalled employee benefits in importance for candidates during job interviews. Many front-line staff considered professional development and advancement opportunities as important as salary. Considering flexible and creative strategies while ensuring that your staff is treated in an equitable and well thought-out manner are keys to both getting and keeping the right people.
Compensation systems that take into account what is necessary for your organization to maintain its competitiveness today and ensure sustainability in the future include a good balance of wages, benefits, and rewards and recognition.
Thank you to the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector for sharing the content of their extensive HR Toolkit. This was a tremendous resource upon which the CCHRSC's ECEC-specific toolkit was built.