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Should you be analyzing your support staff compensation more often?

By Shannon Geis, MA
August 17, 2017
Body of Knowledge Domain(s): Human Resource Management

Do you complete a compensation market analysis for your support staff? According to the Aug. 15 MGMA Stat poll, a majority of respondents do (63%). And for those who do, 58% said they do them annually, while 24% said they do it every couple of years. For those who don’t regularly complete an analysis, the most common reasons cited were that they had no formal process or they weren’t sure how to do one.

While annual or biannual salary reviews and adjustments are common, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests organizations be more aggressive, especially regarding positions that may be in short supply in local markets. “Competitive pricing in these economies requires a continuous assessment of what your competitors are offering; what the talent is expecting and at what point they are willing to jump ship for a better offer; and what changes have happened or are likely to happen in the external market, such as business growth and expansion.”

Doing a competitive market analysis more frequently also can be an important way to maintain a competitive advantage. “Employers wishing to maintain a competitive foothold on those currently employed and keep attracting available talent may find it necessary to track labor data continuously and make adjustments semiannually, quarterly or even more often in areas with fast moving economies and high turnover,” explains SHRM.

If you are looking for a place to start your analysis, you can use industry specific surveys, such as the MGMA DataDive Management and Staff Compensation, to gain a better understanding of what competing companies are paying for different positions within the industry. MGMA also offers a Compensation Calendar and other resources for employers as part of the MGMA Career Center.

However, for smaller organizations, it can be difficult to do regular compensation analysis and to keep up with changes in the market. One MGMA Stat respondent says, “[I] would like to, but how as a small, private practice does one get access to accurate data? And if the area is inundated with large hospital systems, it makes it difficult to compete with their deeper pockets. And how do we pay a higher wage we can’t afford in order to recruit?”

If your organization is unable to increase compensation, “keep in mind offering other types of benefits is a way to set your organization apart from other healthcare employers,” says Shelly Waggoner, MS, CEBS, SHRM-SCP, vice president, MGMA Human Resources, in her recent article for MGMA Connection magazine.

She recommends finding ways to provide growth opportunities so that employees can learn new things and enhance their roles in other ways. You can hear more from Waggoner about how to retain your best employees on a recent episode of the MGMA Small Talk podcast.

Want to receive timely industry data like this every week? MGMA Stat is a simple way to get real-time healthcare data all through text message.

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Shannon Geis, MA, Staff writer/editor, MGMA

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