Total Compensation Insight

A Municipal Salary & Benefits Survey

When combined with benefits data to arrive at total compensation, municipal salary surveys can get complicated in a hurry. If paper or outdated technology is used for data collection, reporting and analysis, completing an annual survey and then trying to extract value from the data is time-consuming and can turn into more of a burden than a benefit to municipalities. It remains a widespread challenge at the state and local government levels.

Data generated from a salary & benefits survey can be very valuable to officials responsible for determining equitable employee pay and benefits. It’s why this is an important service offered by many municipal leagues, RPAs, and other organizations. Unfortunately due to inferior technology being used, the information collection process is often overcomplicated and the reporting capabilities are limited.

These limitations greatly influenced our salary survey design decisions, first when building a survey tool for the CT Conference of Municipalities, and then for the Association of Washington Cities. Both installations have substantially improved how data is collected from municipalities in these states and made available for a multitude of purposes. This has incented more jurisdictions to submit survey responses, which has increased the pool of useful data to sort and compare. It results in a more complete picture of total compensation.

The value to municipalities of access to accurate, comprehensive salary and benefits data can be considerable. Beyond just comparing salaries with neighboring towns, a well-designed survey tool is good for:

  • Using collected data to illustrate to legislators what the impact to the state, school districts and local governments will be from proposed legislation
  • Instilling trust among employees and union representatives that the city or town is taking an objective look at compensation
  • Informing other staffing decisions that are tied to reporting structure, job titles, deciding whether a position should be full-time or part-time, etc.
  • Leveraging collected information for public advocacy, outreach, and education purposes
  • Demonstrating prudence to taxpayers by way of public data that municipal wage and benefits packages are competitive and defendable

Three different partnering models to suit your organization’s resources and needs:

  1. You bring participants to the table and Novus does the rest. No cost to the organization sponsoring the survey.
  2. You bring the expertise, provide support for the process, and Novus does the rest. You share in the revenue generated by the survey reporting subscriptions.
  3. You work with Novus to develop a custom solution that you manage, and Novus develops, hosts, and supports.

Three different survey versions customized to different markets:

  • Government Edition – local government and governmental organizations
  • Education Edition – K-12 and higher education
  • Open Edition – compensation benchmarking software customizable to any type of organization

For more information, contact us today.