COVID-19 continues to change the world as we once knew it. It will likely be months before we experience some semblance of normalcy. In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of ensuring that your job descriptions accurately reflect the current state of each job. Unfortunately, job descriptions are often created and then forgotten even though the jobs they represent are constantly changing. I tell my clients that job descriptions should be living and breathing documents that are reviewed and updated frequently. Job descriptions not only help us guide our employees on the expectations of the job and provide us with a yardstick to measure performance, but they also help us assess another very important part of HR – Compensation. In uncertain times like these, how we calculate employee compensation is bound to change. And job descriptions, specifically the essential functions and qualifications sections, offer us the most insight into how to determine the appropriate pay level for employees.
We are seeing many companies right now scaling up or down – and this could change essential functions. If you think about Papa John’s, for example, who are desperate for more workers, you may see the delivery driver that normally picks up the pizzas and drives the pizza to customers now working the register and assisting carry-out customers. Conversely, full-service restaurant servers may now be taking phone orders or putting together carry-out orders. We are also seeing employers cut pay in order to keep staff and in so doing, narrowing down responsibilities. When essential functions change, survey mapping may shift and should be reviewed.
Medical students are now being granted degrees before all their coursework is completed so they can go to work at our overwhelmed hospitals. During a surge in work, you may decide to loosen some of your previous education and experience requirements. Conversely, IT is inundated trying to keep up with high volume across their servers and are working day and night to keep remote functionality working. Many companies who typically did not require certain certifications for network positions are now requiring them to ensure employees have the knowledge to handle the demand. Requiring certain certifications, licenses, and skills can elevate pay as well as the reverse.
Once job descriptions have been updated, it is important for compensation to reconsider its job mapping and market pricing. COVID may have changed some jobs temporarily, but others may have changed permanently. If we do not address the new reality of our jobs, we run the risk of making poor compensation decisions with lasting consequences. And I’m sure we can all agree that we’re not interested in incurring any more “risk” these days.
Meet The Comp Chick
The Comp Chick, aka, Jennifer Peacock has more than 25 years of diverse experience in human resources ranging from consulting to corporate HR leadership. She started The Comp Chick blog as a way to show her peers that Compensation doesn't have to be boring or difficult.
The Comp Chick, aka, Jennifer Peacock has more than 25 years of diverse experience in human resources ranging from consulting to corporate HR leadership. She started The Comp Chick blog as a way to show her peers that Compensation doesn't have to be boring or difficult. All information included in this blog is opinion.