Salary Bands Communication Series: How to get your leadership onboard

December 13, 2023
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Salary Bands Communication Series: How to get your leadership onboard

Welcome to our exciting new series focused on internal communication about salary bands, covering everything from A to Z. Up first: leadership.

To ensure the successful launch of this initiative and set sail smoothly, the first crucial step is getting leadership onboard. By gaining their support and backing, we can navigate the waters of this sensitive topic with confidence and transparency.

So here's where you start at:

You are convinced you should create salary bands for many reasons (promote transparency and fairness, attract, retain, and engage your talents, while making pay decisions more efficient), but before getting started, you need want your leadership team (executive team, top managers, no matter what you call them) to be engaged in the project.

There's a difference between your comp philosophy and creating a particular band. It helps conversations a lot if you know which of those two things is being questioned at a particular moment  - Sophia Deika, People Operation Specialist @ Ecosia

Onboarding your leadership team on salary bands will be the perfect occasion to:

#1 Re-align on some foundational topics

#2 Have them realize the (positive) impact it will have on their day-to-day

#3 Validate the overall cost of this project

Before getting the project started, some essential topics need to be clarified with your Leadership team, such as: 

Starts with the why

To build trust with your team, you need authenticity. It means that your “How” (actions) and “What” (results) have to be consistent with your “Why” (beliefs). They all need to work together in harmony. To engage your leadership team, give them perspective on “Why create salary bands now?”

  • What will your team achieve using salary bands?
  • Why now is the right time?
  • What current problems will it solve? 

Compensation philosophy/policy

If you already have one, perfect timing to have a quick review:

  • What are you aiming at through your compensation policy?
  • How do you position yourself compared to the market?
  • What’s your approach to global compensation?
  • Do you want to compare your compensation to specific markets (industries, headcounts, funding stage, etc.)?
If you don’t have one or know what we’re talking about, we got your back; check out our complete guide here.

Transparency and stakeholders

Transparency is a hot topic; beyond the fact that everybody is talking about it on LinkedIn, you will soon have a legal obligation toward compensation transparency. Might as well be proactive on the topic and decide today how transparent your company wants to be; it will for sure impact the rest of the project:

  • Who should have access to which level of information?
  • Who will be part of the creation process (decision maker/consulted/informed)? 

Implementation costs 

Building salary bands is not a small project, and it will come with various costs that you may want to validate before getting started:

  • Resources: People working on the project? Tools to benchmark data and design the bands? External consultants if you don’t have the necessary knowledge to build the framework yourself?
  • True-up budget: Once your bands are created and validated, some people will likely be below ranges or not where they should be, and you’ll have to increase them off-cycle. Better anticipate a salary increase budget with your Finance team. 

Project validation with leadership team

This is your big moment! Before you send out that email, ensure that you are prepared to answer the questions listed above or provide further justification. 

Get the template by clicking on the image above or right here!

One advice? Take your time! 

Creating salary bands means that you have to think about the overall approach, from the compensation policy to your job leveling and job granularity.  It certainly takes time to have a 360° approach, but in the end, it is worth it as it will have a significant impact on your team and your company at large - Mathilde Fontaine, People Operations Team Lead @ Welcome To The Jungle.

What's next? 

Looking at the image below, you're at step one. Up next is your project kickoff where you communicate to your managers.

But don't worry, we have just the solution for that as well...

Get the full internal salary bands communication guide here

Recommended further reading

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