Automotive Management 03/11/97
The publication of Sewells new salary survey for 1997 could not come at a more appropriate time. Shortly after such a successful August, and seemingly encouraging September, the motor industry has found some confidence at last.
We collaborate closely with Sewells and the RMI in the production of our Broad Spectrum Guidelines, which use a variety of different factors to give a market rate for each departmental and general management position.
When we are calculating our guidelines, we are not looking at the salary level of current employees, but are more concerned with the rate of pay needed to attract a new employee. This “so called” market rate is not always the same as that for “incumbents”, rates for which may be higher or lower, depending upon the state of the industry and where we find ourselves in the business cycle.
There has been considerable takeover activity in the retail motor sector recently. This will create some “churn” in the recruitment market. This is always inevitable with new management trying to make an impact on established businesses, and looking to replace those employees who leave, unhappy with the new regime.
Our experience tells us that if you wait until an employee is about to leave, then any attempt to address anomalies in pay are far less likely to succeed, even if they were dealt with earlier. Employers know this, but still have very few programmes in place to retain staff, even though such programmes are far cheaper than recruitment itself.
This article has so far concentrated just on pay. So do many companies, who feel that the only important aspect for their key staff is money. In fact several surveys and our own experience tell us that money is rarely the deciding factor, providing staff feel that they are paid at the market rate.
Far more important are the conditions in which people work, both mental and physical. Continual unreasonable demands by senior management are far more likely to lose employees, especially if there is no recognition of their efforts.
A recent survey actually placed the staff biscuit tin as the single most appreciated perk within the office. A pay rise only just figured in the top five.
It will be interesting to see how the market develops over the next 12 months. Will businesses continue to pay ever escalating sums for top management to find their own Alan Shearer, or will they get out the biscuit tin, realising that so long as they are paid fairly, people have many more concerns than just money?