Pay Your Staff: It’s Time to Prioritize Equitable Talent Strategies in Schools
- We all recognize that the dedicated professionals who teach and guide our students play a vital role in shaping the future but increasing demands from parents, limited budget, and societal pressure on educators make it challenging to create thriving educational environments. If schools want to keep and attract talented and experienced staff, it is crucial to prioritize equitable talent management strategies, which include the development of competitive and fair salary structures. While addressing salary needs can be complicated, we’ve pulled together some helpful steps to consider when starting this journey.
Prioritizing Equitable Talent Strategies
There are a few ways to start the process of engaging equitable talent management strategies, of which an equitable salary structure is a crucial component. We suggest organizations start by asking their staff how they’re experiencing the organization and what kind of support would be helpful to them with an anonymous survey. For example, Edgility’s Talent Equity Assessment (or TEA for short), enables organizations to get a clear picture of where opportunity gaps exist and where things are going well. After all, if you don’t know where the leak is coming from you won’t be able to fix the pipeline.
Starting the Process
After you’ve administered a survey and reviewed the data, it’s time to start looking at your talent management strategies holistically and make plans to improve. Find out where your staff indicates you have room for improvement, and, if you collected demographic data (which we always recommend), look for variances in how people are experiencing your organization based on their race, gender, sexuality, etc… For schools, one of the areas that will most likely need the biggest adjustment may be salary and compensation but don’t forget to evaluate your strategies to attract, develop, engage, and assess staff too. It’s important to note that this can be a long process. It won’t happen overnight, and that is OK! Making progress towards bettering your talent management systems through quick wins and long-term goals will build trust and benefit both your organization and your staff.
What Does an Equitable Salary Do?
An equitable salary ensures fair compensation based on factors such as experience, qualifications, and job responsibilities, while also considering the diversity and demographics of the staff. It aims to eliminate pay gaps that may exist between different teams, job levels, and demographic groups, fostering a more inclusive and supportive work environment.
Getting Started With Equitable Compensation
Creating an equitable salary structure requires a systematic approach that involves collaboration among stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, and relevant community members. Here are some key steps to initiate this process:
- Conduct a Comprehensive Compensation Analysis: Begin by evaluating your current salary structure and identifying any disparities or inequities. Analyze factors such as job roles, responsibilities, years of experience, and educational qualifications. This analysis will provide valuable insights into the areas that need adjustment.
Free tool: Compensation Philosophy Worksheet
Spotlight: Check out the work we did with Mujeres Latinas en Accion
- Engage in Transparent Communication: Communication is key when embarking on any major change, especially changes to wages. Engage with teachers and staff to gather their input, concerns, and expectations regarding compensation. By involving them in the decision-making process, you can build trust and foster a sense of ownership among the faculty.
- Seek Guidance: Reach out and get support from organizations that specialize inequitable compensation. Organizations like Edgility and Charter Impact can provide valuable resources, best practices, and expert advice to help you develop a salary structure that aligns with industry standards and promotes fairness.
Watch our webinar with Charter Impact here.
- Explore External Funding Sources: To allocate the necessary resources for equitable compensation, it may be necessary to explore other funding sources. While this might not be possible in every case, this could include seeking grants, partnerships with local businesses or foundations, or engaging with the community to raise funds for specific initiatives. Exploring creative solutions can help bridge the financial gap and support the implementation of a more equitable salary structure.
Don’t Sleep on Talent Strategies
Developing equitable talent management and compensation programs is increasingly important to maintaining the well-being of your talented staff. You know they do exceptional work, you want to support their growth, and you know they should be paid better. So it’s time to put your values to work.
As a firm focused on equitable talent management and finding great leaders for social impact organizations, we know that doing the work matters, but it can also be challenging to start. Let us be your partner on this journey. Reach out to our team to speak to one of our experts and learn how we can help your school through this process.
Meet the Experts:
“It was in college that I learned about America’s inequitable educational systems. Why do some children attend schools and benefit from systems that maximize their potential, and others get left behind? As a result, I have spent my career focused on changing that reality.”
“Some of the first studies on pay gaps came out around the same time as I started my career and when I found out that I would be paid less based on something I couldn’t change about myself I got angry. That anger seeded within me a strong desire to bring about change to close pay gaps…”