Using PAYgrade job evaluation to support recruitment and retention

How we helped The Orders of St John Care Trust

The Orders of St John Care Trust (The OSJCT or Trust) grew organically over years of development. Its expan­sion, from one to four counties, resulted in numerous job roles/descriptions, employee terms and conditions and HR processes.

The Trust took the opportunity to develop a ‘One Trust’ approach following a change in HR Director. A funda­mental review of the job evaluation process, formed part of a wider change management programme to create a fair and equitable framework of roles across The OSJCT.

The issue

The project addressed three key challenges:

1. Rationalising roles across the Trust

The OSJCT was working on a county-basis as opposed to a Trust-basis. Different titles, job descriptions and role sizes resulted in different pay schemes in each county and a lack of clear progression paths for individuals, despite all employees technically working for the same Trust. This created a lack of clear progres­sion paths for individuals, and inefficiencies due to decisions being made at a local level as opposed to a ‘one Trust’ approach.

2. Providing meaningful reward

Due to ever-increasing external financial pressures faced by care providers and the fact that The OSJCT is a not-for-profit charity, limited salary and benefit resources need to be allocated fairly. A market-relevant reward strategy was required to provide cost-effective, yet competitive, pay and benefits to staff.

3. Retaining and recruiting the best talent

The OSJCT wanted to deliver their promise of joining a ‘superb workforce’, which meant creating clear progression paths for each role, Trust-wide. This could only be achieved by having one system of grading roles across The OSJCT.

Our solution

This was an ambitious project. The OSJCT wanted to introduce a brand new grading structure to assess all roles across their 69 homes and 9 extra care housing schemes, across Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucester­shire and Wiltshire, within three months.

Paydata re-evaluated The OSJCT’s HR framework, created a new framework for adoption across the Trust and provided training to ensure this was rolled-out efficiently, effectively and completely. The innovative PAYgrade methodology and software package evaluates roles at all levels, from those requiring on-the-job training through to the CEO.

Paydata used its job grading skills, built up over decades of practical experience, to focus on the key things that make a real difference to jobs of different specialisms and skills. The approach was intuitive to use and was the pivotal grounding for The OSJCT to adopt a ‘one Trust’ approach as an organisation.

How it worked

1. A unified ‘One Trust’ approach

With acute financial pressure increasingly being placed on care home providers, the project allows for more streamlined HR processes. Paydata’s job evaluation methodology is designed to be straightforward and logical to use, reducing time and resources spent by evaluators.

PAYgrade also simplifies the external benchmarking process so scales and grades remain aligned to the external market. A reduction in the number of payroll change requests is anticipated, as employees are organised into consistent, well-defined and evaluated roles and job levels. Similarly, the new framework makes compliance with legal requirements very straightforward (e.g. Equal Pay Act 2010). PAYgrade can also be used during pay reviews and performance appraisals, with role profile templates iden­tifying opportunities for training and development or flagging under-performance. The efficiencies generated by the project has empowered the HR team who now have more capacity to focus on Trust-wide projects.

2. A trusted partner

Paydata had three months from the date of tender to evaluate 115 roles and train the review panel so that they could evaluate the remaining 60, under Paydata’s guidance. Paydata was selected because of their flexible approach. The client felt Paydata became part of the team, and that whilst job evaluation is a complex and time-consuming exercise, Paydata’s simple approach and respon­siveness meant The OSJCT team enjoyed working together on the project.

3. An engaged response

Paydata accounted for engagement and communication across all counties. Our methodology and software package, PAYgrade, was designed so that the evaluation process was conducted by panels across the coun­ties in sessions that were relevant to all employees. We worked alongside the Trust, advising on how best to communicate the framework design and how to shape com­munication of the job evaluation results across the whole organisation, ultimately securing better employee engagement.

There is evidence of excellent stakeholder engagement. Out of 4,500 employees told what their role was and where their role fitted into the framework of roles within the organisation, there were just four appeals. This is testament to effectiveness of the process and the internal commu­nication. The overwhelming majority of employees felt the communication they received, about where their role fits within the organisational structure and how this decision had been reached, accurately re­flected what they did on a day to day basis.

It is too early in the wider HR journey of creating a ‘one Trust’ approach to provide empirical evidence of success based on staff retention or turnover figures. Howev­er, the adoption of the new scheme illus­trates how successful the first stage of this journey has been since it was rolled out in December 2016.

“I cannot fault Paydata’s approach, we worked so closely with them and we built our relationship very quickly. Working so closely together, they became part of our team. There was a real sense that we were achieving the project together which made it enjoyable. You knew you would pick up the phone and get the support you needed.”

Laura Allam
Head of HR, Reward and Recognition
The Orders of St John Care Trust