7. Basic Pay Rates

A number of the companies surveyed did not move pay in line with national wage agreements.

One of these with approximately 700 employees in Ireland, utilised regular salary surveys to ensure its pay package remained competitive. For operatives, the most important survey used is one the company does itself of a range of local or regional employments. This is supplemented with national sectoral data available in IBEC industry specific reports.

More senior staff are felt to be more mobile and for them, the focus is on national surveys, such as those produced by IBEC, IMI and Inbucon.

For certain specialist staff, international salary surveys are also taken into account. The reference studies used in each case tend to reflect the mobility of staff involved.

8. Training and Development

Training and development loomed large in the implementation of human resource strategy. It was closely linked to team based working, flexibility, multiskilling, and reduction in the reliance on traditional supervisory and managerial control. Training was both used in support of other strategies such as changes in work organisation, and as a strategy in itself. The use of training as a strategy in itself applied to companies which retained a hierarchical system of management and supervision, but wished to develop greater involvement and participation within this system.

Increasingly, companies are becoming interested in certificate based training. One company currently introducing skill based pay is focusing on NVQ certification. Operators will spend four hours per week over an academic year to receive a grounding in process theory. The participants will be assessed by UK NVQ assessors. This training will be provided on site, mostly by the companies own technical staff, with some outside assistance. Staff who are to become trainers will receive train the trainer training.

The is a trend towards linking with outside educational bodies and towards standardisation and certification of training.

It is not possible within the confines of this paper to describe the variety of approaches and types of training provided within companies except to say that most companies see people in terms of contribution rather than cost and have invested significant resources in the training process. This investment took different forms:

  • Integrated on the job and off the job approaches.
  • External benchmarking visits.
  • Support for undertaking courses in 3rd level institutions.
  • Technical and non-technical training in support of skill based pay systems.
  • Training, both induction and continuous, as a means of transmitting the culture of the company. In this connection, in one company, every senior manager is expected to contribute a certain period of time to the delivery of formal training which is taken into account as part of his or her performance evaluation.

In some companies, training is closely linked to the development aspects of the performance appraisal process, where individual and company needs are integrated.

 
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