To address the creation of a pay-for-performance strategy amid these restrictions, Valley Cities initially worked with several high-priced consultants. "They all told us we could never do it in a nonprofit organization. There’s this perception in nonprofits that there won’t ever be enough money," said Taylor. "But I knew there had to be a better way."
With PayScale, Valley Cities can access the largest, most up-to-date salary database in the world, easily benchmark positions, and price jobs in Seattle—or across the nation. "I can point to PayScale’s salary data with confidence, because I know it’s based on millions of data points, and the scale’s been validated. Even our CFO, who was skeptical at first, is a total convert."
Previously, Valley Cities offered a yearly 3% cost of living increase. With PayScale, the organization can now give significant raises for performance quality based on accurate, real-time market data. "I can point to the data and tell employees that if they are truly good at their position I can pay them competitively. People know their performance matters now," said Taylor. "PayScale has definitely helped increase employee morale and helped us actually pay for above average performance."
PayScale allows Valley Cities to view and evaluate real-time jobs and salaries specific to Seattle—one of the most expensive cities to live in—instead of generalized cost of living recommendations. "With PayScale, we can always have an eye on what the market is doing here. I can point to the data with confidence and let employees know we’re competitive in the Seattle area and the ever changing Seattle area cost of living."
PayScale gives Valley Cities multiple ways to view and analyze salary information and identify grade structures that are out-of-line with the market or employees who may be flight risks. "We’re just beginning to harness the power of the PayScale data and tools," said Taylor. "For other organizations out there, who may be wondering if they need a system, PayScale can definitely help you impact your business decisions."