Reward: modernisation and market competitiveness

Newsletter articles

1 Sep 2012

HR Insight Issue 15

Catherine Rickard, Research Fellow

Catherine RickardIES was recently commissioned by the Office of Manpower Economics (OME) to explore pay progression mechanisms (how an individual moves up their pay range) in a range of different public and private sector organisations, including the Met Office, the Competition Commission and Dixons Retail. The research, using a case study approach, contributed towards informing the Pay Review Bodies of how pay progression systems have been modernised. It found that organisations have moved away from service-based progression towards more hybrid systems which commonly use measures such as market, performance, skills and contribution for progression.

Different types of pay progression systems have varying objectives. However, commonly linking some of the progression arrangements are objectives around:

  • appropriately recognising the highest performers;
  • offering continued scope for pay progression to boost motivation and retention;
  • recognising through pay progression achievement towards organisational objectives;
  • and achieving transparency and equality in pay systems.

The research, including seven case study reports, will be available on the OME website in the summer:

IES also recently conducted a review of market competitiveness of the Architect’s Registration Board (ARB)’s reward arrangements. We conducted a tailored salary survey for the ARB which targeted similar regulatory and professional membership bodies to ensure the ARB was in line with current sectoral practice. Regular reviews of this nature support an organisation’s ability to recruit and retain staff. They also assess the extent to which an organisation is consistent with prevailing reward practices and trends in comparative organisations.

If you would like to find out more about IES research and consultancy into reward practice, please contact