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Teesside Hospice – A Great Place to Work

Author: Andrew Moore
10 August 2017

Andrew Moore, HR Manager at Teesside Hospice in Middlesborough, writes about introducing a new pay structure and organisational culture.

In 2015, we took the decision to review the organisation’s pay structure.  Like many significant pieces of work, the enormity of the project can appear daunting at the outset and often the operational needs of the business take priority.  However, the need was becoming much clearer and more urgent, not least and reinforced by the massive changes we have seen in the recent economic climate.

There was a collective view supported by the Board of Trustees of the need to develop a bespoke pay structure framework aligned with organisational culture, providing fairness and equality for colleagues to progress, whilst taking into account the need for financial sustainability for the charity.

A Pay Review Group was developed with a view of collaborative working and joint ownership of the project. Key to this was ensuring representation from all departments within the organisation to ensure feedback opportunities and extended voice on the shop floor where it matters.

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) states careful planning is key, involving the workforce in a pay structure change is important for several reasons, citing that such a group can provide feedback and evaluation right through the process of selection, tailoring for the organisation, piloting and training, which was exactly our aim with our approach. It was also hoped that with this planned approach such a change can influence culture shift, and we wanted to tangibly create a foundation for our work towards one of opportunity in promoting our organisation as the ‘‘great place to work’’ which we believe it is.

This solid platform would be the first milestone going forward in our employee reward and development offer, to support our most valuable asset, our people. This work had deliberate purpose aiming to support, attract and retain talent through a fair pay structure. Furthermore, this would be reinforced through further people development and engagement processes contributing to a holistic reward package offered by the organisation.

The overarching outcome of this work is a new approach to pay, one which we believe is simpler and clearer. The introduction of a new pay structure now meets the requirement of a strategic pay and reward provision for Teesside Hospice for the next five to ten years.

The structure is uncomplicated, transparent, equitable and linked to performance whilst also incorporating good practice i.e. living wage and ability to withstand the supply and demand factors of a competitive market. It seeks to reward progression and competency development and challenges outmoded pay arrangements associated with paying for ‘years on the job’, which does not necessarily correlate to competence, contribution and effort.

As with all major change there is always important learning for an organisation gained during all stages of the process. It was important for us to know how the project had been received so we set out to evaluate our approach and outcomes with all key stakeholders

From our learning we have identified the following four key areas which are intrinsically linked and which we believe to be essential in supporting an organisation introducing a new pay and reward system: Engagement, Communication, a Working Group and Resources.

We feel we have come a long way with our people's reward offer but are conscious of the importance to continue momentum and further activity is already taking place, building on the platform of the Payment Review Group work. Two major areas of work are underway with a view of supporting the continued investment in our people, Communication Champions, Talent Management and Succession Planning.

For more information visit Teesside Hospice

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