Are Your Wages Competitive?

I have three questions for you to think about: 

  - How do you determine wage rates in your company?
  - Are you paying competitive wages?
  - Do you know the “market rate” for your positions?

I find that many companies miss the mark in the area of wage and salary administration, especially small to mid-sized companies that do not have a compensation professional on staff.  Generally speaking, many employers just do not stay current on what the local market is paying for jobs.  And they get further out-of-line by giving pay increases that do not match the trends for the area, or by giving no increases at all.

Here is a case in point.  If you think about the past six years, which included the big recession, there were several years when zero pay increases were the norm.  Yet in some individual jobs or business sectors, employees continued to receive increases.  Have your pay rates kept pace with the market, or do you need to consider some adjustments?

I am hearing that pay increases may be larger than normal next year, as wages have been suppressed for several years in a row.  And with general business conditions on the upswing, many companies are beginning to hire again.  This means more employers will potentially be interested in hiring your employees.  Are you ready for that, or will they find an offer from another employer tempting?  People don’t typically stay or leave just for pay alone, but it can be a significant factor, especially if the amount offered is substantially higher.  

For many years, The Employers Association has conducted an annual Charlotte Area Wage/Salary survey that is top-notch.  Several of our member companies, along with the local chambers of commerce and the economic development offices, turn to us for accurate pay data.  Our data has been local and specific to the Charlotte area and surrounding counties (not just broader national or southeast regional data).  We have traditionally surveyed 200+ jobs each year. 

And now our survey is getting even better.  We are teaming up with our sister employers association in Raleigh, Capital Associated Industries (CAI), to produce this year’s survey.  We should have nearly 300 companies reporting on 400 jobs.  And, it is all North Carolina (and upstate SC) data.  We will also still provide a cut for just local Charlotte area data.  Wow!

So take a minute and reflect upon the three questions in the first paragraph.  And if you are struggling with the answers, our survey may be the answer. 

To contact The Employers Association for more information about surveys, call 704.522.8011 or email