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"A level playing field." We’ve all heard or read this cliché countless times. Yet there’s truth to it, particularly when confronting the tricky but critical issue of pay equity. Think about two football teams playing on a steep hill. One lucky squad gets to run downhill to score a touchdown, while the other, less fortunate group must run uphill. Clearly, the first team has an advantage.
This is the crux of the issue regarding pay equity. It's not about making sure everyone gets paid equally. Rather, it’s about leveling the playing field so everyone—regardless of demographic factors such as age, race, gender identity, disability, national origin and sexual orientation—receives equitable compensation upon hire and through pay raises based on objective, work-related factors. Indeed.com shows that such factors include (though aren't limited to) education, experience, skills, job performance and tenure with the employer.
All of that might sound perfectly logical and reasonable on paper. However, most leaders would probably agree that devising ways to address pay equity and communicating with employees about it isn’t easy.
Research And Education
In my experience, organizations often run into trouble with pay equity when they take an ad hoc approach to the issue. Different leaders in different departments may handle it in different ways. Or it could go largely ignored altogether.
Optimally, an employer’s leadership team should come together to craft a cohesive statement and set of strategies regarding pay equity. For that to happen, everyone involved usually needs to first educate themselves on the history of the topic, as well as common best practices and current thinking.
Some larger organizations may be able to put together an in-house learning program on pay equity. Otherwise, you could explore engaging outside consultants. For example, consider holding several weekly "lunch and learns" on various aspects of the issue.
Another critical move to strongly consider is a pay equity audit. This is a comprehensive statistical analysis of an organization’s pay history and structure, designed to identify gaps, discrepancies and inconsistencies. Any results that can’t be rationally explained should be addressed.
The bottom line is that to communicate effectively about pay equity, leaders need the background, training and expertise to understand the subject thoroughly and discuss it meaningfully with employees.
The Importance Of Communication
How important is it to communicate with employees about pay equity? A recent study by Gartner Research found that only 32% of employees believe their pay is fair. The study found that communicating clearly about pay equity builds trust and is just as important for employee retention and engagement as talking about competitive compensation and benefits. They found that, while "only 38% of the employees we surveyed report that they understand how their pay is determined... when organizations educate employees about how pay is determined, employee trust in the organization increases by 10% and pay equity perceptions increase by 11%."
The lesson of this study is clear: Communicating about pay equity is important and, if your organization isn’t exactly knocking it out of the park in this difficult area, you’re not alone. So what can leaders do to step up their pay equity games?
Key Discussion Points
First, once you’re familiar with the topic and have clear guidelines regarding your organization’s pay equity policies, identify appropriate scenarios in which to address the issue. Hiring, of course, is a natural starting point. Many employers now include salary ranges in job postings to be more transparent and even-handed about compensation. These ranges also help candidates set a starting point for negotiations.
During job interviews, it’s generally not advisable to ask candidates about their compensation history. Focus the conversation—particularly during the first one or two interviews—on the skills, responsibilities and expectations of the role in question. Defer the salary discussion until the last interview, and be sure to keep it within the context of your organization’s stated salary range for the position.
Once employees are hired and on-boarded, regularly revisit the subject of pay equity as appropriate and necessary. Many employers fold discussions about compensation into annual or semi-annual performance reviews. Although this is a predictable and efficient way of handling things, I believe it's best to separate the two conversations. This helps keep both interactions more objective and less emotional.
During discussions about pay, leaders should be trained and prepared to answer common questions. The specific answers to these queries will naturally depend on your organization’s compensation strategy and policies. But here are some questions to be ready for:
• How does the organization choose its salary ranges?
• Why does my salary fall where it does within the range?
• Why are co-workers or recent hires making more money than I am?
• What is the organization doing to ensure my pay is equitable and competitive?
As you can see, these aren’t always easy questions to answer. That’s why it’s important for leadership at the highest level to address pay equity as a strategic priority, set clear policies about it and then equip leaders farther down the organizational chart with the training and information they need to discuss the topic clearly and confidently with employees.
An Evolving Issue
The issue of pay equity isn’t going away. If anything, it’s becoming more important as employers respond to calls from the workforce and general public for greater transparency and social responsibility. Indeed, in a study released in January 2023 by WorldatWork and Fidelity Investments, 70% of the 534 organizations surveyed reported acting on pay equity. That’s a 4% rise from 2021.
If you and your leadership team are just getting started on the issue, it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed. Remember to start with the basics: your organization’s historical and current compensation data. And if you’re well on your way with a pay equity strategy, that’s great. Just bear in mind that it’s an evolving issue, requiring regular monitoring and reconsideration.
In the dynamic landscape of learning leadership, confidence is the cornerstone upon which impactful decisions and transformative growth are built. As we delve into the heart of 2023, let's explore five indispensable tips for cultivating confidence in the realm of learning leadership, featuring our cutting-edge "Leadership Impact Measurement of Confidence and Competence" – the C+C assessment.
1. Embrace the C+C Assessment: A Mirror to Your Leadership Soul
The C+C assessment serves as a powerful mirror reflecting both confidence and competence. As a learning leader, acknowledging and understanding your strengths and areas for development is the first step towards building unwavering confidence. This self-awareness empowers you to tailor your leadership approach, leveraging your strengths and proactively addressing areas that may benefit from further refinement.
2. Continuous Learning: A Catalyst for Confidence
In the ever-evolving landscape of learning leadership, the pursuit of knowledge is a never-ending journey. Stay abreast of industry trends, educational advancements, and emerging leadership methodologies. Engage in continuous learning opportunities, whether through workshops, conferences, or curated learning platforms. The more you invest in your own development, the more confident you become in navigating the dynamic challenges of the learning leadership domain.
3. Cultivate a Growth Mindset: Embrace Challenges as Opportunities
A growth mindset is the fertile ground in which confidence blossoms. View challenges not as roadblocks but as opportunities for growth and learning. The C+C assessment, aligned with the principles of a growth mindset, encourages you to see setbacks as steppingstones to success. Embrace a mindset that values effort, resilience, and the pursuit of mastery, fostering an environment where confidence becomes a natural byproduct of continuous improvement.
4. Seek Constructive Feedback: A Pillar of Leadership Development
Confidence thrives in an environment where feedback is not feared but welcomed. Actively seek constructive feedback from peers, mentors, and team members. The C+C assessment provides a structured framework for feedback, enabling you to gain valuable insights into your leadership impact. Embrace feedback as a tool for refinement, recognizing that each piece of input is a step towards becoming a more confident and effective learning leader.
5. Mentorship and Coaching: Guiding Lights on the Leadership Journey
In the world of learning leadership, the value of mentorship and coaching cannot be overstated. Connect with experienced leaders who can serve as mentors, providing guidance and insights based on their own journeys. The C+C assessment becomes a valuable tool in these relationships, fostering meaningful conversations around leadership development. Additionally, consider engaging with a LEAP-certified coach who can provide personalized guidance, helping you navigate challenges and amplify your confidence as a learning leader.
In Conclusion: Confidence is a Journey, not a Destination
Building confidence as a learning leader is an ongoing journey, and the C+C assessment is your compass. Embrace the insights it provides, leveraging them as fuel for continuous learning and growth. Remember, confidence is not about being infallible; it's about being resilient, open to feedback, and committed to your own development.
As you embark on this transformative journey, consider the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."
May your journey as a learning leader be marked by continuous growth, unwavering confidence, and a lasting impact on those you guide.
#LearningLeadership #ConfidenceBuilding #C+CAssessment #LEAPLeaders #LeadershipJourney
As we stand on the threshold of a new year, it's both a privilege and a responsibility to reflect on the leadership journey that 2023 has been. This year, like every other, brought its unique set of challenges and triumphs, unveiling invaluable insights that continue to shape our approach to leadership at LEAP.
Navigating Uncertainty with Resilience
In a world marked by uncertainty, the importance of resilient leadership became glaringly evident. The ability to adapt and guide teams through turbulent times emerged as a defining trait. As LEAP coaches and leaders, we witnessed firsthand the transformative power of resilience. Leaders who embraced change with an open mind, learning from setbacks and inspiring their teams to do the same, stood out as beacons of stability.
Empathy: The Cornerstone of Effective Leadership
In the tapestry of leadership, empathy emerged as the golden thread weaving through every successful interaction. Leaders who took the time to understand the unique challenges faced by their team members fostered a culture of trust and collaboration. At LEAP, we believe that empathy isn't just a soft skill; it's a strategic tool that bridges gaps, fosters inclusivity, and enhances overall team dynamics.
The Rise of Remote Leadership
The seismic shift towards remote work forced leaders to reimagine their approach. Successfully leading remote teams required a delicate balance of trust, communication, and the use of innovative technologies. Our LEAP coaches adapted swiftly, recognizing that distance should never hinder the strength of leadership. The ability to maintain team cohesion and inspire individuals from afar became a defining skill for leaders in this digital age.
Learning from Failures: A Leadership Superpower
In the pursuit of success, leaders encountered failures that served as steppingstones to growth. At LEAP, we celebrate the leaders who turned setbacks into opportunities for learning. The willingness to acknowledge mistakes, coupled with a commitment to continuous improvement, became a hallmark of effective leadership. After all, it's often in the face of adversity that true leadership shines.
Diversity and Inclusion: Not Just Buzzwords, but Imperatives
As we delved into 2023, the call for diversity and inclusion echoed louder than ever. Leaders who championed diversity not only in words but in actions created environments where every voice mattered. At LEAP, we emphasized that diverse teams are not just a reflection of society but a wellspring of creativity and innovation. In the coming year, we challenge leaders to embrace inclusivity as a guiding principle, recognizing that it is not just a moral imperative but a business imperative.
The LEAP Community: A Collective Force for Change
The power of our LEAP community lies in its shared commitment to transformative leadership. Through licensing and certifying independent coaches and consultants nationwide, we have expanded our reach, creating a network of leaders dedicated to bringing positive change to workplaces. The synergy within this community fuels our collective mission of saving the work-world, one leader-manager at a time.
Looking Ahead: Leadership Resolutions for 2023
As we gaze into the future, let's crystallize our leadership resolutions for 2023:
1. Cultivate Resilience: Embrace change with grace and resilience, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth.
2. Deepen Empathy: Foster a culture of empathy, recognizing the unique experiences and perspectives of every team member.
3. Optimize Remote Leadership: Hone the skills necessary to lead remote teams effectively, leveraging technology without compromising human connection.
4. Embrace Failure: See failures not as setbacks but as essential milestones on the path to success. Learn, adapt, and evolve.
5. Champion Diversity and Inclusion: Actively promote diversity and inclusion, understanding that it is not only a moral imperative but a strategic advantage.
6. Harness the Power of the LEAP Community: Engage with and contribute to our growing community of leaders and coaches. Together, we can amplify our impact.
In conclusion, let's carry the lessons of 2023 forward, infusing our leadership with newfound wisdom and purpose. As we continue our journey, remember that leadership is not just a title; it's a commitment to inspire, empower, and create positive change.
Here's to a transformative year ahead, filled with leadership excellence and the unwavering pursuit of a better, more inclusive work-world.
Lynda Silsbee is Founder and President of the Alliance for Leadership Acceleration. She has spent more than 30 years creating and leading high performance teams. Along with the other LEAP Certified Coaches, she reports that helping managers make the LEAP to leader is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work.