Volunteers

Rely on Valid Compensation Survey Data

Methodology, salary dates, and study sample allow boards to judge reliable research.

December 09, 2010
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

• Effective date. Salary studies usually ask participants to provide salary information as of a specific date, or the “effective date.”This is done so that data is static, representing one point in time. Since the data is static, the salary information provided by the participants is comparable and that’s necessary to make reliable comparisons from year to year.

The effective date can be an indicator in and of itself, Soltis points out. “If the information is several years old, it’s outdated and not reliable.”

 

 Study sample. This is the group of study participants. They could be from one industry or several industries. The study sample tells you whether the participants reflect your competitive market.

There should be a sufficient number of participants for the data to be considered reliable. There’s no magic number because it depends on the total number of organizations in the population. For example, in CUNA’s annual study, the Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey, all affiliated credit unions with $1 million or more in assets are asked to participate in the study. That’s the population. Those that participate in the study make up the survey sample.

Although a larger sample size will be more reliable statistically than a smaller sample size, there doesn’t have to be a sizeable number of participants in the sample. It’s more important that the sample be representative of the population, Soltis notes. Also, there should be an adequate number of participants per position and per data cut (where data is broken out by a pay element, such as geographic area).

Compensation experts recommend using three different sources to determine executive compensation market pricing, Soltis says. But boards should consider the competitive market and competitive strategy to select the best salary sources for your credit union.

And finally, make sure these sources contain the data necessary for your competitive strategy, she says. Some salary studies report only the average (a simple mean) and/or the median (the midpoint—or halfway mark—if salaries are ranked from low to high). If you want to use market percentiles (standard points along the range of salaries when ranked from low to high), you should make sure the data source you use reports these percentiles.

Adapted from the December 2010 issue of Credit Union Directors Newsletter.

 

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive