Episode 121 HR Coffee Time

Are you struggling with how to get pay right in your organisation, feeling the weight of its complexity and cost? You’re not alone. Payroll can be the largest expense for a business, running into millions, and it’s a crucial aspect of HR that doesn’t come with a handbook. Whether you’re facing challenges with pay dissatisfaction among your talent, confronting unsettling pay gaps, or stepping into a new role with an outdated pay structure, there’s always room for improvement.

In this episode of HR Coffee Time, host Fay Wallis talks with Rameez Kaleem, Founder and CEO of 3R Strategy, to shed light on creating pay practices that truly pay off. He breaks down the building blocks of fair and effective pay practices that can attract, reward, and retain the best talent for your organisation.

Key Takeaways

  • Pay transparency is about openness and honesty in pay processes, not about disclosing everyone’s salaries (a common misconception). It builds trust and demonstrates fairness in how pay decisions are made.
  • Pay transparency helps in attracting talent; candidates are more likely to apply for a role when the salary is included in the job posting.
  • Well-communicated pay equity is 13 times more important in retaining your employees than higher pay levels.
  • Why you should never ask the question, “What’s your current salary?” Or, “What are your pay expectations?” when interviewing.
  • Rameez’s Five-Step Pay Transparency Project Plan:
  • Step 1: Establish a reward strategy and pay philosophy.
  • Step 2: Conduct benchmarking with reliable data to understand market rates.
  • Step 3: Develop a career framework for clarity on career progression and pay scales.
  • Step 4: Build pay structures aligned with the career framework.
  • Step 5: Consider pay progression and how employees can progress within the pay range.

 

Useful Links

 

Buy the Book Recommendations

(Disclosure: the book links are affiliate links which means that Fay will receive a small commission from Amazon if you make a purchase through them)

 

Other Relevant HR Coffee Time Episodes

Looking For the Transcript?

You can find the transcript on this page of the Bright Sky Career Coaching website.

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If you found this episode of HR Coffee Time helpful, please rate and review it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. This video shows you how to rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts (because it isn’t very intuitive). If you’re kind enough to leave a review, let Fay know so she can say thank you. You can always reach her at: fay@brightskycareercoaching.co.uk.

 

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Transcript
Fay Wallis:

Hello and welcome back to HR Coffee Time. It’s wonderful to have you listening today. I’m your host, Fay Wallis, a career and executive coach with a background in HR, and I’ve made HR Coffee Time especially for you to help you have a successful and fulfilling HR or people career without working yourself into the ground.

The title for today’s episode is Pay practices that pay off – how to attract, reward and retain talent fairly. I thought it would be a helpful topic for you because I know how daunting it can feel to figure out how to get pay right. Especially when payroll is usually the biggest cost to the organisation, typically running to millions or even billions if you’re in a really large company.

It’s a huge responsibility that sits with HR, but it’s also one that you might not have had a huge amount of training on or really built your confidence up about. And there are so many reasons you might decide that now is a good time to take a fresh look at your organisation’s approach to pay. Perhaps you’re losing talented people because they’re unhappy with their pay, or maybe you’ve come face to face with a really worrying pay gap, whether that’s around gender, ethnicity, or disability, or something else, and you’re just not really sure what to do to start addressing it.

Or it could be that your business is experiencing a growth spurt, which could be a happy thing, but you’ve realised that there’s a lack of a clear pay structure and that’s actually a big problem at this point. Or it could also be that you’ve stepped into a new role and realised straight away that the pay structure that is in place doesn’t feel like it’s fit for purpose.

Whatever the situation is that you’re in, you could be thinking, oh my gosh, there has to be a better way to do this. And you’re probably right. In fact, I’m sure you’re absolutely right. So this episode is here to help. I’m joined by the fantastic Rameez Kaleem. Rameez is just amazing. He is the founder and managing director at 3R Strategy, which is an independent reward consultancy dedicated to helping organizations build a culture of trust through pay transparency.

And if you’re immediately thinking, Oh, I don’t really know what pay transparency is. Don’t worry, he goes into it in real detail. I learned so much from him. And just to tell you a little bit about Rameez’s background and credentials, he graduated in Economics from University College London, and he began his career in consultancy, where he started off by working in global mobility, and then as a reward consultant at Willis Towers Watson.

He then worked in several in house reward roles before he quit the corporate world to set up his own business, 3R Strategy, because he wanted to be able to support more organisations on their journey towards pay transparency. With over 20 years in pay and reward, he now consults extensively on pay and speaks regularly in HR forums and conferences, so it’s brilliant to have him with us for this episode.

Whether you’re looking for answers, inspiration, or even just a sign that you’re on the right track with addressing pay related challenges. I hope you’re going to enjoy this episode. Why not pour yourself a cup of coffee or your favorite hot drink, get comfy, and let’s dive into the conversation and meet Rameez.

Welcome to the show, Rameez. It is so fabulous to have you here.

Rameez Kaleem:

Hi, Fay. Thanks a lot for inviting me onto your podcast.

Fay Wallis:

You are very welcome. I’m feeling very lucky to have you on the show because I know that you are an absolute expert in pay transparency, and it’s such an important topic, but we’ve only really touched on pay once before on the show.

It was all the way back in episode 14, which was called understanding and fixing your organisation’s gender pay gap. And that was with my guest, Melissa Blissett. For anyone listening, if you’re really interested in learning more about pay, then please do hop back and listen to that episode as well. It was brilliant having Melissa on the show, but it’s great to be covering it again with you Rameez, because I know that pay transparency is something you are incredibly passionate about. In fact, you’re so passionate about it that you have written a book on the topic, you have a podcast that focuses on it, and you set up your own business. 3R strategy to be able to bring better pay practices to as many organizations as possible.

I’ve read your book and I honestly think it should be recommended reading for anyone who works in HR and wants to get pay right within their organisation. And this will sound terrible, But I’m surprised to find myself saying that I wouldn’t normally choose to read a book about reward or recognition. A lot of the books that I tend to read are very much around career development and leadership styles and I haven’t done a lot of pay type things or reward in my HR career before becoming a coach.

So it’s not a topic I’m hugely familiar with or confident in. So when I saw oh this whole book is about pay transparency, I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it. But it is such a good read, so anyone listening, if you are not really very confident like I wasn’t, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s clear, it’s simple to work your way through. You haven’t got to be a reward specialist to understand it. And my favorite part is that Rameez has woven in lots of stories and movie references as well to help bring the ideas in the book to life. In fact, Ramiz, even though we’ve only ever met briefly once before, when we were first chatting about you coming on the show, I now have this really weird feeling that I know you really well, because I know your favorite movies, I know your career history, I know all the incredible volunteering you’ve done outside of work, I know all the things you’ve achieved, and it’s all because I’ve read your brilliant book.

Rameez Kaleem:

No, thanks. I’m really glad that you enjoyed the book. It was one of the reasons that I wrote it because when you, you know, when I was getting into reward, I didn’t study my CIPD because I didn’t think that it was very relevant to reward. And a lot of the books that you read are very academic and I wanted something that would be more accessible and easy to read because it’s something that impacts everyone.

We all get paid for our jobs, but it’s, there’s nothing really out there. So the objective was not to have something that is. You know, very, because it’s a bit drier in depth, but more accessible and hopefully slightly light hearted.

Fay Wallis:

Well, we’re all very lucky that you did decide to write it. And when I was having a little look around your website in preparation for our chat together today, I was really surprised to see that not only have you written the book, you’re giving it away for free.

Aren’t you?

Rameez Kaleem:

So my, my objective with the book wasn’t to make money off writing the book, but it was to make the topic of pay more accessible, to share that with HR professionals, to help them implement fairer, more transparent processes in their, in their organizations. And so I spent two days in a studio recording the Audible version of the book.

So it’s the Audible version that’s available for free for everyone.

Fay Wallis:

Oh, that’s brilliant. And I’ve just realized, I don’t think we’ve told anyone what the title of the book is. Do you want to let everyone know?

Rameez Kaleem:

Yes. So the title of the book is called A Case of the Mondays. And it actually originates from this film, again, another film called Office Space from the 90s, where, um, People go into the office and they feel really demotivated.

And it’s the phrase that, oh, you had, somebody has a case of the Mondays that they’re, you know, they’re dreading that Monday feeling. So that’s where the, the name comes from.

Fay Wallis:

Because you don’t want people to have that awful dreading Monday feeling.

Rameez Kaleem:

Exactly. You want, and if we can create that culture where, um, People enjoy working with the people that they work with, they trust them.

Then, you know, you actually look forward to seeing them on a Monday rather than dread that feeling.

Fay Wallis:

Fabulous. Well, I haven’t listened to the Audible version. I’ve, I’ve read the paperback version, but I do love listening to books. And actually that’s how I get through quite a few of them. So I might have to download the Audible version as well.

And again, for anyone listening, Just do go take a look at Rameez’s website and then get yourself your own Audible copy. We should probably say what your website is. Do you want to tell everybody?

Rameez Kaleem:

Yes. The website is just, uh, 3r strategy. com.

Fay Wallis:

Brilliant. Thank you so much. And moving along from the book, as you are clearly an expert in pay transparency, having done all these fabulous things around it.

I thought a good starting point would be to ask you about it. So can I ask you to define what pay transparency is? Because I think there’s quite a lot of misunderstanding about it. I know that I didn’t understand it properly until I read your book. I know that a lot of people think pay transparency means everyone in the organisation should know what everyone is being paid.

Rameez Kaleem:

There is a lot of misunderstanding and that’s why when you talk about pay transparency, a lot of people get nervous. We did a survey where we asked organizations if they have pay ranges, for example, and the ones that did only 20 percent were sharing that with employees because they’ve done the work, but they’re nervous about sharing this information.

And it’s the, it’s this, like you said, people feel everyone’s going to know what everyone else gets paid, but when we talk about transparency of any kind, it’s about being open and honest. It’s about giving people context and it’s demonstrating fairness. And so with pay transparency is being open and honest about our pay processes, how we make pay decisions and really demonstrating to our employees that we do want to treat them fairly.

Fay Wallis:

So I’m guessing as everyone’s listening, they’ll, they’ll have a bit of an idea as to why you think pay transparency is such a good thing to have within your organisation. But I’d love to ask you that question outright. Now that we all know what pay transparency is. Why, in your opinion, is it just so important?

Rameez Kaleem:

I think it’s incredibly important from a culture perspective, because we, you know, talking again about the case of the Mondays, that comes not from the work that we necessarily do, but it comes from the people that we work with, the relationships we have in the workplace. And that comes with having trust with and trusting the people.

And I think what better way to start building that trust with the first thing that we see when we apply for jobs, which is what we’re going to get paid. And so that should be the starting point of building that trust with our colleagues. And that starts with pay transparency. So I think it’s really important with building trust ultimately, although as much as we worry about people thinking everyone’s going to know what everyone else gets paid, people want to know that they’re being treated fairly and through transparency, we demonstrate fairness and equity with people. And actually a lot of the times when you start to be transparent it becomes less of a topic so it people start to discuss it less because it’s not something that concerns them anymore but. Apart from the culture side, I think there’s also a business case to be made.

And ultimately, all organizations are looking to attract and retain the best talent. And if we look at things like attraction, last year, research showed that around half of the candidates didn’t even apply for a job because there was no salary range. And so as an organisation, you’re significantly reducing your ability to attract the best people by not being transparent.

And then we know that retention is much cheaper than replacing employees. And last year, again, research shows that well communicated pay equity was 13 times more important in retaining your employees than higher levels of pay. So we can spend so much time thinking, Oh, should we have a 3 percent pay budget or a 4 percent pay budget?

But if you really think about it from an employee’s perspective, it’s not that big a difference having a 3 percent pay rise or a 4 percent pay rise, but if you demonstrate to them that you want to treat them fairly and you communicate that clearly, the research is showing that there’s an exponential increase in you being able to retain those employees.

And so I think there’s a very clear business case with all the data and the research, as well as a big impact on organizational culture.

Fay Wallis:

I know you’re really passionate about equity and fairness. You’ve already mentioned fairness a couple of times. I get an email, you probably get it as well, and I’m sure lots of people listening get it as well from the CIPD quite regularly with updates on research they’ve done or things that are in the news or things that are relevant for.

The HR community. And I just noticed a headline this week when I received the email, I haven’t clicked through, which is terrible. Isn’t it? I must click through and read the whole thing. But the headline was saying that with gender pay gap reporting, actually some organizations aren’t meeting the requirements they’ve not been submitting, which I was quite shocked to see.

I mean, I must click through and actually read the whole thing. But as you were talking there , it was also making me think, if you haven’t got that pay transparency, so perhaps you haven’t got clear pay bands, people don’t understand what the progression opportunities are. They don’t understand what the lower level of a band might be, the higher level of a band might be.

When you’re thinking about things like equity when it comes to gender, I suppose you’re far more at risk of having someone join the organisation and that awful question being asked, which is, what are your pay expectations, or what was your previous pay, or what’s your current pay, and then when they tell you.

If they aren’t being paid appropriately for the role they’re already in, or it’s much lower than it would be in your organisation, I think the organisation is hugely putting themselves at risk, aren’t they, of then underpaying that person and then creating this even bigger gender pay gap. And I don’t think any organisation would be doing that intentionally thinking, Ooh, let’s create a gender pay gap.

Let’s not pay anyone fairly. But that’s something that really, it really got me thinking about that when I was reading your book.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah. I think, you know, it’s a really interesting point that you make about the salary history, for example. Because I agree. Most people are not asking that question because they want to treat someone unfairly, but it’s just, Oh, this is just how we’ve always done things.

And it’s, well, how should I know what to pay somebody if I don’t ask them? But this is where we need to. So I, I think quite simply, we wish we can break this down into two steps. And step one is, As an organisation, we should know what salary range we’re willing to pay for every single job in our organisation.

So let’s say you’re willing to pay thirty to forty thousand as step one. And then step two is What is the difference between somebody that sits at the bottom of that range and somebody that sits at the top of the range? What is the difference in their contribution or experience or skills or whatever it is? And we then use that process to make sure that we’re offering the right salaries to our candidates.

Because if we start women, people of color, if you have a disability, you might be discriminated against, underpaid in your current job. And your salary then is not a reflection of your skills in the market, and it’s not a reflection of your value in the market. And all we’re doing is we’re transferring that inequity from one organisation to another.

And so by simply eliminating that question, we’re forcing organizations to say, look, it’s your responsibility to know what you should be paying people. And don’t use data that might be already discriminating against someone to make decisions about their future. And in fact, in the U. S. it was, I think it’s the Institute of Women’s Policy Research found that the biggest impact on gender pay gap reporting came as a result of eliminating that question from the recruitment process.

And it was something like four to five percent because. you know, all of a sudden you’re not underpaying people just because their expectation is lower. And so, you know, when we ask that question, we’re essentially using people’s ability to negotiate to determine what they get paid.

Fay Wallis:

Oh, it’s amazing to hear that statistic, isn’t it?

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah, it is. And you know, it’s such a simple, because we can be overwhelmed by, Oh, pay transparency. There’s so much of these things to do. This is not, something that requires any effort. It’s such a simple thing to do. And although so many organizations talk about their equity, diversity, inclusion targets, and their, you know, it’s such a priority.

And if it really is a priority, this is such a simple action that we can take to start making some change.

Fay Wallis:

Oh, well, let’s hope that lots of people are going to be inspired after hearing this today and manage to change some practices within their organisation. And talking about changing practices in your book, you share your five step pay transparency project plan.

I feel like there were lots of Ps there. Now, I know it might be a bit challenging to say this in a really quick way, but if you could briefly take us through the five different steps and explain why each of them is so important, I think it will be really helpful at helping Bring this whole concept to life and, and show everyone how you can do it in your organisation.

Rameez Kaleem:

Sure. I think the first thing I would say is, you know, pay transparency isn’t a binary issue. It’s not either you have it or you don’t. It’s a journey that we have to go through. And hence we have the steps that we gradually go through that journey. And that really starts off with, I don’t know if you know, Simon Sinek, who talks about starting with why is starting with the why and the why when it comes to pay is what is our reward strategy?

What is our pay philosophy? So in the same way that we have a set of values that we say define the culture of our organisation, we need to have a set of pay principles and, and a philosophy. So that’s really the first step, the why, and then we go into, okay, how do we do this? Then step two is doing some benchmarking, getting good data to know what is the market paying for all of these different jobs.

Third step is we then start to build our own career framework or some organizations call it job architecture to say, you know, we have a graduate at the first band, then we have an analyst, a senior analyst. What does a career path look like for people working in our organisation? That is not down to job titles, but it’s down to the accountability responsibility of these roles.

Then fourth step is that we build pay structures around this. To say, okay, if you are a graduate or an analyst within marketing, this is the pay range that would apply to you. And if it’s within finance, this is a pay range that would apply to you. So again, now it not just gives them clarity over their career progression, but also around how their pay would progress as they progress their career.

And then the fifth step is to think about progression now. So if you are an analyst and your pay range is thirty to forty thousand and you join us on thirty, how are you going to progress over time? To get to that top of the range and what differentiates somebody who sits at the bottom versus somebody who sits at the top.

Fay Wallis:

Well, thank you for whizzing us through that. If anyone wants to dive into it in more depth, of course, it’s all detailed in your book, but I am going to ask you a couple of questions, not on all five, but on a couple of them, if that’s okay.

Rameez Kaleem:

Of course.

Fay Wallis:

The very first question is when you talked about having a pay philosophy, so having your reward principles.

Now, I’m just worried that to some people that might feel overwhelming. To me, that feels a little bit overwhelming. If someone said, okay, Fay, for your organisation, what’s your pay philosophy? I think, I don’t know, would you be able to maybe give us some examples to help explain that this doesn’t have to be something that’s so overwhelming.

So someone. can really imagine how they’re going to achieve this in their organisation.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah. So I think going back to that example of, we can have very clear values as an organisation. And then we say, Oh, these are the behaviors that demonstrate those values. So that’s around culture. And it’s looking at something similar when it comes to our pay and saying, and the way that we, for example, do this with clients is having workshops with the leadership team to say, where are you now as an organisation? How do you make pay decisions? What do you communicate to your employees about pay? And then let’s think about the next three years. What would you like to do? And then where would you like to be in the future?

What would you like to communicate to your employees? How would you want to make pay decisions? So having that idea of where we are now, where do we want the future? And then pay philosophy should be forward looking. So where we want to be in the future. And it might be around. Well, we want to not just base our reward or pay around base salary, but we want to look at our overall package.

So one principle might be a total reward offering. So total reward approach. So it’s not about base, it’s about our culture. It’s about the benefits that we provide. It’s about flexible working. So that’s a principle around pay. And then we think about things like, what sort of balance do you want between internal equity?

People being paid similar amounts for the same sort of job versus external competitiveness. So there are certain skills that we know come at a premium. So you can say that we would be willing to pay more for jobs, even though they sit at the same level in our organisation, but recognizing that the external market requires higher pay.

So it’s looking at those sorts of things. And then we will think about why does pay progress in your organisation? Does it progress because people are performing well, because they’re developing their skills, because they’re demonstrating certain behaviors that we really value that is aligned to our culture.

So It’s about coming up with definitions of what is the purpose of pay? Why does pay progress and what are the key principles that underpin all the decisions that we would make? So, you know, in the same way that if you are trying to build a culture, you might look at people’s behaviors and say, well, that’s not aligned to our values.

We shouldn’t be doing that. In the same way, you can have a pay policy. And then say, well, that’s not aligned to our pay principles. Let’s not do that because that doesn’t feel like it’s equitable. So it’s, it’s just something you can refer back to say, these are our principles. Are we doing things in the right way?

Fay Wallis:

That really helps to bring that to life a little bit more. Thank you Rameez. There’s one more thing I wanted to ask you about after you’ve taken us through those five steps. And. This is to do with the fact that I know pay benchmarking can be particularly challenging for a whole range of reasons. Often it’s because I know that HR and people professionals haven’t always been given access to the best resources or support when it comes to this.

So they’re having to cobble together solutions. And I spoke to someone the other day and they wanted to introduce pay bands. But it was just an absolute nightmare because she didn’t have access to any real robust pay grade data and she wasn’t given any budget for getting any. So she was having to look at job vacancies and see what competitors were paying for different roles and she knew it wasn’t robust, she knew it wasn’t ideal, but of course it was a lot better than just doing nothing.

Knowing that. It would be fantastic to hear your advice to anyone listening today who wants to do a great job with pay for their organisation, but they’re struggling to get the buy in or the budget for it.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah, so I think that is a challenge, but I also think that as, as HR teams, we need to start making a better business case for getting good data, because that’s really, You know, when we go into step two from the why to the how it’s really starts with getting good data.

If we think about our employees and the conversations they’re having with their line managers or their, their leaders or their HR business partners, they’re going to websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, right? This is freely available to everyone and saying, well, I’ve looked at this job title and this is what the salary is telling me.

Why am I not paid this? And so if HR is doing exactly the same thing, then what is the difference? All we’re saying to our employees, well, well, my internet research is better than your internet research. So what we need to do is to say that we invest in getting data that is not based on job titles. It’s based on job evaluation and looking at the content of the role.

What are your responsibilities? What is your accountability? What are your skills? And then looking at equivalent skills in the market for organizations that we would compare ourselves to, because it’s not about looking at one or two organizations, it’s looking at the overall market. So I think we need to make a better business case because, you know, we’re spending hundreds of thousands, in some cases, millions on salaries.

I don’t understand why we can’t just spend three or four thousand to make sure that that million is being spent in the right way. So I think it’s one of the best and we don’t sell any salary service. So I’m not trying to promote ourselves. I’m just saying as HR teams go and look at all the different options out there, the different surveys, but that’s the best investment that you can make.

Fay Wallis:

I think one of the things you said there is so key, the fact that pay can be such a significant financial cost to an organisation if you are spending millions on paying everybody. Surely that’s such a clear cut business case when you say it like that Rameez, that we just need a few thousand pounds so this potentially can save us a lot of money, or at least make sure that we are spending these millions correctly.

You just mentioned about paying for access to pay data, and you said, oh, we don’t have a salary survey that we sell to people. Do you have any recommendations for everyone listening about where they should go to to get really robust data?

Rameez Kaleem:

Part of the reason that we don’t, because there are so many different options depending on the sector and size of the organisation.

For example, we’d speak to an organisation and say, where do you typically recruit people from? What sort of organizations are people coming from and where do people go when they leave? Because that’s the sort of organizations you want to benchmark against. And so if an organisation is in financial services, it might be that Willis Towers, Watson or McClaggan’s go to that might be the best data source.

If you work in the charity or non profit sector, maybe Xpert HR or Sendex might be the best source. So it’s really understanding what sector or size the organizations are. And then often there are two or three different options. So we would then work with them to look at their participant list to say, which one of these participants or organizations would you feel is the best comparator to you that you would want to, use.

So unfortunately, I don’t think it’s as simple as this is the best source. There’s so many out there such as Mercer, Korn Ferry Willis Towers Watson, Radford, Cendex. So all of these different providers, it’s just figuring out which sector you in and then looking. I would always ask those providers to say, tell me which participants are in this survey.

And then on that basis, decide which data you want.

Fay Wallis:

It’s absolutely fine. If you can’t just say Oh yes, this one place is the best place to go. It’s going to be incredibly helpful for everyone just to even have an idea of where they could be going to and also what those key questions are to be asking.

Coming back to your five step process, you’ve helped make it far less overwhelming by explaining about the reward principles and philosophy and strategy, so the why and then also the how, but I’m just a little bit worried in case people are still thinking, Oh, gosh, there are these five steps we’ve got to go through.

It still feels a bit overwhelming. What would your advice be to anyone feeling like that to help them feel less overwhelmed so that they do take action and start implementing pay transparency in their organisation?

Rameez Kaleem:

I agree. I think it can be a little overwhelming, but this is where, you know, I was saying how pay transparency isn’t a you either have it or you don’t.

It’s a journey. And I think the first thing is we need to try and make a business case for pay transparency with our leaders to say, this is something we should be doing. And then once we do that and make that commitment, maybe just start off by looking at your reward strategy and pay philosophy, just start off with this.

And then gradually you might decide to move up and look at the following steps, but don’t think that you have to do everything at once. Just start off with step number one, go through that, run a session with your leadership team. And then once you have that in place, then maybe think about moving. Cause you know, we’ve worked with organizations where they might do everything in four months.

And then we’re currently working with Harper Collins, for example, and they want do it over two years. And so it really depends on your objectives, how quickly you want to go through that process, but. It’s just do what works well for you. You don’t have to do everything at once, but at least make a commitment and then start the process because it’s, it’s, it’s very easy to say this is too much and then just put it off completely, but just break it down into very simple steps and just do step one.

Fay Wallis:

What wonderfully reassuring advice to have everyone here. And we’re actually at the point of the interview where I ask every guest who comes on the show if they’d like to share a nonfiction book recommendation or a confidence building tip. I think you’ve just inadvertently shared a great confidence building tip with us, which is about taking things in manageable little steps and not thinking you’ve got to do the whole thing at once.

So am I allowed to ask you then if you have a nonfiction book recommendation for us

today?

Rameez Kaleem:

I have so many because I try and get through one to two books every month. So there’s, I mean, I mentioned one at the start, which was the start with why from Simon Sinek, the one that I really liked when I, I think it sort of helped me quit my job as well was quiet by Susan Cain.

It’s all about the power introverts. And I think it helps you recognize some of your strengths, which you don’t really see a strengths in the workplace because a lot of our workplaces and schools and everything are tailored to as extroverts. I think going back to that point of making small changes, the book I would recommend is called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

And it’s around how we can often see things as these big obstacles or achievements and just put them off. But real change comes from very small, uh, consistent changes. And in the book, he talks about 1 percent change and how that accumulates to over time, sort of 37 times more than where you started off, And so, for example, you could, you know, do 50 pushups or go to the gym for five hours, and it’s not going to make any difference.

But if you do two pushups consistently for three months, then you’ll see a massive change. And those are the sort of things which, you know, if I use the example of when I wrote the book, it’s, there were so many steps to get to that. And it’s, if somebody is thinking about writing a book, then don’t just think of it as, Oh, this is too much.

I can’t do it. Just, Just write two pages and you might enjoy writing those two pages and then tomorrow or next week you write another two pages and then in three months you have your first draft and then in another six months you have your second draft and so I think just break everything down into simple steps that you can do consistently rather than trying to do too much.

Fay Wallis:

If I ever decide to write a book then Rameez, you’re going to be the first person I come to for advice. That sounds like fabulous advice and interestingly I think that Quiet has been recommended on the show three times now. So that is a clear signal it’s a book worth reading for anyone who is thinking, Hmm, I’d like to really have a book to get stuck into.

Which one should I pick? That sounds like it’s a big winner. And for anyone listening today who would love to learn more about your work or get in touch with you, what is the best way of them doing

that?

Rameez Kaleem:

Well, people can connect with me on LinkedIn. It’s Rameez Kaleem. The website is 3r- strategy. com and the book A Case of the Mondays is available on Amazon and on Audible. But like I said, if you go to the website, you will be able to download a free copy of Audible on the website.

Fay Wallis:

And of course, there’s your podcast as well, if people want to hear more about your wisdom.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yes, the podcast is also called The Case of the Mondays around the book, and it’s looking at topics around pay, pay transparency, but sometimes also topics, any topics that might interest HR professionals, such as succession planning or gender pay gap reporting.

Fay Wallis:

So another great resource for everybody. Well, all that leaves me to say is a huge thank you for your time today Rameez. It has just been wonderful to have you on the show.

Rameez Kaleem:

Thanks a lot Fay, I really enjoyed our conversation and I hope everyone finds this helpful.

Fay Wallis:

I’m sure they will.

That brings us to the end of today’s episode and I hope you enjoyed hearing from Rameez as much as I did.

I’ll make sure that I put links to all the resources he talked about in the show notes for you so that you can easily find them. And if you’re finding HR Coffee Time useful, I would be hugely grateful if you’re happy to leave a rating and review for the show on whichever podcast platform you’re listening to it on right now, as this makes such a big difference in helping new listeners find the show.

And I would just love to help as many HR and people professionals as I can with this free podcast. Thank you so much, and if you do leave a rating or review, please do let me know so I can say a big thank you to you. Have a great rest of your day, and I am looking forward to being back again soon with the next episode for you.

Transcript
Fay Wallis:

Hello and welcome back to HR Coffee Time. It's wonderful to have you listening today. I'm your host, Fay Wallis, a career and executive coach with a background in HR, and I've made HR Coffee Time especially for you to help you have a successful and fulfilling HR or people career without working yourself into the ground.

The title for today's episode is Pay practices that pay off - how to attract, reward and retain talent fairly. I thought it would be a helpful topic for you because I know how daunting it can feel to figure out how to get pay right. Especially when payroll is usually the biggest cost to the organisation, typically running to millions or even billions if you're in a really large company.

It's a huge responsibility that sits with HR, but it's also one that you might not have had a huge amount of training on or really built your confidence up about. And there are so many reasons you might decide that now is a good time to take a fresh look at your organisation's approach to pay. Perhaps you're losing talented people because they're unhappy with their pay, or maybe you've come face to face with a really worrying pay gap, whether that's around gender, ethnicity, or disability, or something else, and you're just not really sure what to do to start addressing it.

Or it could be that your business is experiencing a growth spurt, which could be a happy thing, but you've realised that there's a lack of a clear pay structure and that's actually a big problem at this point. Or it could also be that you've stepped into a new role and realised straight away that the pay structure that is in place doesn't feel like it's fit for purpose.

Whatever the situation is that you're in, you could be thinking, oh my gosh, there has to be a better way to do this. And you're probably right. In fact, I'm sure you're absolutely right. So this episode is here to help. I'm joined by the fantastic Rameez Kaleem. Rameez is just amazing. He is the founder and managing director at 3R Strategy, which is an independent reward consultancy dedicated to helping organizations build a culture of trust through pay transparency.

And if you're immediately thinking, Oh, I don't really know what pay transparency is. Don't worry, he goes into it in real detail. I learned so much from him. And just to tell you a little bit about Rameez's background and credentials, he graduated in Economics from University College London, and he began his career in consultancy, where he started off by working in global mobility, and then as a reward consultant at Willis Towers Watson.

He then worked in several in house reward roles before he quit the corporate world to set up his own business, 3R Strategy, because he wanted to be able to support more organisations on their journey towards pay transparency. With over 20 years in pay and reward, he now consults extensively on pay and speaks regularly in HR forums and conferences, so it's brilliant to have him with us for this episode.

Whether you're looking for answers, inspiration, or even just a sign that you're on the right track with addressing pay related challenges. I hope you're going to enjoy this episode. Why not pour yourself a cup of coffee or your favorite hot drink, get comfy, and let's dive into the conversation and meet Rameez.

Welcome to the show, Rameez. It is so fabulous to have you here.

Rameez Kaleem:

Hi, Fay. Thanks a lot for inviting me onto your podcast.

Fay Wallis:

You are very welcome. I'm feeling very lucky to have you on the show because I know that you are an absolute expert in pay transparency, and it's such an important topic, but we've only really touched on pay once before on the show.

It was all the way back in episode 14, which was called understanding and fixing your organisation's gender pay gap. And that was with my guest, Melissa Blissett. For anyone listening, if you're really interested in learning more about pay, then please do hop back and listen to that episode as well. It was brilliant having Melissa on the show, but it's great to be covering it again with you Rameez, because I know that pay transparency is something you are incredibly passionate about. In fact, you're so passionate about it that you have written a book on the topic, you have a podcast that focuses on it, and you set up your own business. 3R strategy to be able to bring better pay practices to as many organizations as possible.

I've read your book and I honestly think it should be recommended reading for anyone who works in HR and wants to get pay right within their organisation. And this will sound terrible, But I'm surprised to find myself saying that I wouldn't normally choose to read a book about reward or recognition. A lot of the books that I tend to read are very much around career development and leadership styles and I haven't done a lot of pay type things or reward in my HR career before becoming a coach.

So it's not a topic I'm hugely familiar with or confident in. So when I saw oh this whole book is about pay transparency, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it. But it is such a good read, so anyone listening, if you are not really very confident like I wasn't, I can't recommend it highly enough. It's clear, it's simple to work your way through. You haven't got to be a reward specialist to understand it. And my favorite part is that Rameez has woven in lots of stories and movie references as well to help bring the ideas in the book to life. In fact, Ramiz, even though we've only ever met briefly once before, when we were first chatting about you coming on the show, I now have this really weird feeling that I know you really well, because I know your favorite movies, I know your career history, I know all the incredible volunteering you've done outside of work, I know all the things you've achieved, and it's all because I've read your brilliant book.

Rameez Kaleem:

No, thanks. I'm really glad that you enjoyed the book. It was one of the reasons that I wrote it because when you, you know, when I was getting into reward, I didn't study my CIPD because I didn't think that it was very relevant to reward. And a lot of the books that you read are very academic and I wanted something that would be more accessible and easy to read because it's something that impacts everyone.

We all get paid for our jobs, but it's, there's nothing really out there. So the objective was not to have something that is. You know, very, because it's a bit drier in depth, but more accessible and hopefully slightly light hearted.

Fay Wallis:

Well, we're all very lucky that you did decide to write it. And when I was having a little look around your website in preparation for our chat together today, I was really surprised to see that not only have you written the book, you're giving it away for free.

Aren't you?

Rameez Kaleem:

So my, my objective with the book wasn't to make money off writing the book, but it was to make the topic of pay more accessible, to share that with HR professionals, to help them implement fairer, more transparent processes in their, in their organizations. And so I spent two days in a studio recording the Audible version of the book.

So it's the Audible version that's available for free for everyone.

Fay Wallis:

Oh, that's brilliant. And I've just realized, I don't think we've told anyone what the title of the book is. Do you want to let everyone know?

Rameez Kaleem:

Yes. So the title of the book is called A Case of the Mondays. And it actually originates from this film, again, another film called Office Space from the 90s, where, um, People go into the office and they feel really demotivated.

And it's the phrase that, oh, you had, somebody has a case of the Mondays that they're, you know, they're dreading that Monday feeling. So that's where the, the name comes from.

Fay Wallis:

Because you don't want people to have that awful dreading Monday feeling.

Rameez Kaleem:

Exactly. You want, and if we can create that culture where, um, People enjoy working with the people that they work with, they trust them.

Then, you know, you actually look forward to seeing them on a Monday rather than dread that feeling.

Fay Wallis:

Fabulous. Well, I haven't listened to the Audible version. I've, I've read the paperback version, but I do love listening to books. And actually that's how I get through quite a few of them. So I might have to download the Audible version as well.

And again, for anyone listening, Just do go take a look at Rameez's website and then get yourself your own Audible copy. We should probably say what your website is. Do you want to tell everybody?

Rameez Kaleem:

Yes. The website is just, uh, 3r strategy. com.

Fay Wallis:

Brilliant. Thank you so much. And moving along from the book, as you are clearly an expert in pay transparency, having done all these fabulous things around it.

I thought a good starting point would be to ask you about it. So can I ask you to define what pay transparency is? Because I think there's quite a lot of misunderstanding about it. I know that I didn't understand it properly until I read your book. I know that a lot of people think pay transparency means everyone in the organisation should know what everyone is being paid.

Rameez Kaleem:

There is a lot of misunderstanding and that's why when you talk about pay transparency, a lot of people get nervous. We did a survey where we asked organizations if they have pay ranges, for example, and the ones that did only 20 percent were sharing that with employees because they've done the work, but they're nervous about sharing this information.

And it's the, it's this, like you said, people feel everyone's going to know what everyone else gets paid, but when we talk about transparency of any kind, it's about being open and honest. It's about giving people context and it's demonstrating fairness. And so with pay transparency is being open and honest about our pay processes, how we make pay decisions and really demonstrating to our employees that we do want to treat them fairly.

Fay Wallis:

So I'm guessing as everyone's listening, they'll, they'll have a bit of an idea as to why you think pay transparency is such a good thing to have within your organisation. But I'd love to ask you that question outright. Now that we all know what pay transparency is. Why, in your opinion, is it just so important?

Rameez Kaleem:

I think it's incredibly important from a culture perspective, because we, you know, talking again about the case of the Mondays, that comes not from the work that we necessarily do, but it comes from the people that we work with, the relationships we have in the workplace. And that comes with having trust with and trusting the people.

And I think what better way to start building that trust with the first thing that we see when we apply for jobs, which is what we're going to get paid. And so that should be the starting point of building that trust with our colleagues. And that starts with pay transparency. So I think it's really important with building trust ultimately, although as much as we worry about people thinking everyone's going to know what everyone else gets paid, people want to know that they're being treated fairly and through transparency, we demonstrate fairness and equity with people. And actually a lot of the times when you start to be transparent it becomes less of a topic so it people start to discuss it less because it's not something that concerns them anymore but. Apart from the culture side, I think there's also a business case to be made.

And ultimately, all organizations are looking to attract and retain the best talent. And if we look at things like attraction, last year, research showed that around half of the candidates didn't even apply for a job because there was no salary range. And so as an organisation, you're significantly reducing your ability to attract the best people by not being transparent.

And then we know that retention is much cheaper than replacing employees. And last year, again, research shows that well communicated pay equity was 13 times more important in retaining your employees than higher levels of pay. So we can spend so much time thinking, Oh, should we have a 3 percent pay budget or a 4 percent pay budget?

But if you really think about it from an employee's perspective, it's not that big a difference having a 3 percent pay rise or a 4 percent pay rise, but if you demonstrate to them that you want to treat them fairly and you communicate that clearly, the research is showing that there's an exponential increase in you being able to retain those employees.

And so I think there's a very clear business case with all the data and the research, as well as a big impact on organizational culture.

Fay Wallis:

I know you're really passionate about equity and fairness. You've already mentioned fairness a couple of times. I get an email, you probably get it as well, and I'm sure lots of people listening get it as well from the CIPD quite regularly with updates on research they've done or things that are in the news or things that are relevant for.

The HR community. And I just noticed a headline this week when I received the email, I haven't clicked through, which is terrible. Isn't it? I must click through and read the whole thing. But the headline was saying that with gender pay gap reporting, actually some organizations aren't meeting the requirements they've not been submitting, which I was quite shocked to see.

I mean, I must click through and actually read the whole thing. But as you were talking there , it was also making me think, if you haven't got that pay transparency, so perhaps you haven't got clear pay bands, people don't understand what the progression opportunities are. They don't understand what the lower level of a band might be, the higher level of a band might be.

When you're thinking about things like equity when it comes to gender, I suppose you're far more at risk of having someone join the organisation and that awful question being asked, which is, what are your pay expectations, or what was your previous pay, or what's your current pay, and then when they tell you.

If they aren't being paid appropriately for the role they're already in, or it's much lower than it would be in your organisation, I think the organisation is hugely putting themselves at risk, aren't they, of then underpaying that person and then creating this even bigger gender pay gap. And I don't think any organisation would be doing that intentionally thinking, Ooh, let's create a gender pay gap.

Let's not pay anyone fairly. But that's something that really, it really got me thinking about that when I was reading your book.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah. I think, you know, it's a really interesting point that you make about the salary history, for example. Because I agree. Most people are not asking that question because they want to treat someone unfairly, but it's just, Oh, this is just how we've always done things.

And it's, well, how should I know what to pay somebody if I don't ask them? But this is where we need to. So I, I think quite simply, we wish we can break this down into two steps. And step one is, As an organisation, we should know what salary range we're willing to pay for every single job in our organisation.

So let's say you're willing to pay thirty to forty thousand as step one. And then step two is What is the difference between somebody that sits at the bottom of that range and somebody that sits at the top of the range? What is the difference in their contribution or experience or skills or whatever it is? And we then use that process to make sure that we're offering the right salaries to our candidates.

Because if we start women, people of color, if you have a disability, you might be discriminated against, underpaid in your current job. And your salary then is not a reflection of your skills in the market, and it's not a reflection of your value in the market. And all we're doing is we're transferring that inequity from one organisation to another.

And so by simply eliminating that question, we're forcing organizations to say, look, it's your responsibility to know what you should be paying people. And don't use data that might be already discriminating against someone to make decisions about their future. And in fact, in the U. S. it was, I think it's the Institute of Women's Policy Research found that the biggest impact on gender pay gap reporting came as a result of eliminating that question from the recruitment process.

And it was something like four to five percent because. you know, all of a sudden you're not underpaying people just because their expectation is lower. And so, you know, when we ask that question, we're essentially using people's ability to negotiate to determine what they get paid.

Fay Wallis:

Oh, it's amazing to hear that statistic, isn't it?

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah, it is. And you know, it's such a simple, because we can be overwhelmed by, Oh, pay transparency. There's so much of these things to do. This is not, something that requires any effort. It's such a simple thing to do. And although so many organizations talk about their equity, diversity, inclusion targets, and their, you know, it's such a priority.

And if it really is a priority, this is such a simple action that we can take to start making some change.

Fay Wallis:

Oh, well, let's hope that lots of people are going to be inspired after hearing this today and manage to change some practices within their organisation. And talking about changing practices in your book, you share your five step pay transparency project plan.

I feel like there were lots of Ps there. Now, I know it might be a bit challenging to say this in a really quick way, but if you could briefly take us through the five different steps and explain why each of them is so important, I think it will be really helpful at helping Bring this whole concept to life and, and show everyone how you can do it in your organisation.

Rameez Kaleem:

Sure. I think the first thing I would say is, you know, pay transparency isn't a binary issue. It's not either you have it or you don't. It's a journey that we have to go through. And hence we have the steps that we gradually go through that journey. And that really starts off with, I don't know if you know, Simon Sinek, who talks about starting with why is starting with the why and the why when it comes to pay is what is our reward strategy?

What is our pay philosophy? So in the same way that we have a set of values that we say define the culture of our organisation, we need to have a set of pay principles and, and a philosophy. So that's really the first step, the why, and then we go into, okay, how do we do this? Then step two is doing some benchmarking, getting good data to know what is the market paying for all of these different jobs.

Third step is we then start to build our own career framework or some organizations call it job architecture to say, you know, we have a graduate at the first band, then we have an analyst, a senior analyst. What does a career path look like for people working in our organisation? That is not down to job titles, but it's down to the accountability responsibility of these roles.

Then fourth step is that we build pay structures around this. To say, okay, if you are a graduate or an analyst within marketing, this is the pay range that would apply to you. And if it's within finance, this is a pay range that would apply to you. So again, now it not just gives them clarity over their career progression, but also around how their pay would progress as they progress their career.

And then the fifth step is to think about progression now. So if you are an analyst and your pay range is thirty to forty thousand and you join us on thirty, how are you going to progress over time? To get to that top of the range and what differentiates somebody who sits at the bottom versus somebody who sits at the top.

Fay Wallis:

Well, thank you for whizzing us through that. If anyone wants to dive into it in more depth, of course, it's all detailed in your book, but I am going to ask you a couple of questions, not on all five, but on a couple of them, if that's okay.

Rameez Kaleem:

Of course.

Fay Wallis:

The very first question is when you talked about having a pay philosophy, so having your reward principles.

Now, I'm just worried that to some people that might feel overwhelming. To me, that feels a little bit overwhelming. If someone said, okay, Fay, for your organisation, what's your pay philosophy? I think, I don't know, would you be able to maybe give us some examples to help explain that this doesn't have to be something that's so overwhelming.

So someone. can really imagine how they're going to achieve this in their organisation.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah. So I think going back to that example of, we can have very clear values as an organisation. And then we say, Oh, these are the behaviors that demonstrate those values. So that's around culture. And it's looking at something similar when it comes to our pay and saying, and the way that we, for example, do this with clients is having workshops with the leadership team to say, where are you now as an organisation? How do you make pay decisions? What do you communicate to your employees about pay? And then let's think about the next three years. What would you like to do? And then where would you like to be in the future?

What would you like to communicate to your employees? How would you want to make pay decisions? So having that idea of where we are now, where do we want the future? And then pay philosophy should be forward looking. So where we want to be in the future. And it might be around. Well, we want to not just base our reward or pay around base salary, but we want to look at our overall package.

So one principle might be a total reward offering. So total reward approach. So it's not about base, it's about our culture. It's about the benefits that we provide. It's about flexible working. So that's a principle around pay. And then we think about things like, what sort of balance do you want between internal equity?

People being paid similar amounts for the same sort of job versus external competitiveness. So there are certain skills that we know come at a premium. So you can say that we would be willing to pay more for jobs, even though they sit at the same level in our organisation, but recognizing that the external market requires higher pay.

So it's looking at those sorts of things. And then we will think about why does pay progress in your organisation? Does it progress because people are performing well, because they're developing their skills, because they're demonstrating certain behaviors that we really value that is aligned to our culture.

So It's about coming up with definitions of what is the purpose of pay? Why does pay progress and what are the key principles that underpin all the decisions that we would make? So, you know, in the same way that if you are trying to build a culture, you might look at people's behaviors and say, well, that's not aligned to our values.

We shouldn't be doing that. In the same way, you can have a pay policy. And then say, well, that's not aligned to our pay principles. Let's not do that because that doesn't feel like it's equitable. So it's, it's just something you can refer back to say, these are our principles. Are we doing things in the right way?

Fay Wallis:

That really helps to bring that to life a little bit more. Thank you Rameez. There's one more thing I wanted to ask you about after you've taken us through those five steps. And. This is to do with the fact that I know pay benchmarking can be particularly challenging for a whole range of reasons. Often it's because I know that HR and people professionals haven't always been given access to the best resources or support when it comes to this.

So they're having to cobble together solutions. And I spoke to someone the other day and they wanted to introduce pay bands. But it was just an absolute nightmare because she didn't have access to any real robust pay grade data and she wasn't given any budget for getting any. So she was having to look at job vacancies and see what competitors were paying for different roles and she knew it wasn't robust, she knew it wasn't ideal, but of course it was a lot better than just doing nothing.

Knowing that. It would be fantastic to hear your advice to anyone listening today who wants to do a great job with pay for their organisation, but they're struggling to get the buy in or the budget for it.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yeah, so I think that is a challenge, but I also think that as, as HR teams, we need to start making a better business case for getting good data, because that's really, You know, when we go into step two from the why to the how it's really starts with getting good data.

If we think about our employees and the conversations they're having with their line managers or their, their leaders or their HR business partners, they're going to websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, right? This is freely available to everyone and saying, well, I've looked at this job title and this is what the salary is telling me.

Why am I not paid this? And so if HR is doing exactly the same thing, then what is the difference? All we're saying to our employees, well, well, my internet research is better than your internet research. So what we need to do is to say that we invest in getting data that is not based on job titles. It's based on job evaluation and looking at the content of the role.

What are your responsibilities? What is your accountability? What are your skills? And then looking at equivalent skills in the market for organizations that we would compare ourselves to, because it's not about looking at one or two organizations, it's looking at the overall market. So I think we need to make a better business case because, you know, we're spending hundreds of thousands, in some cases, millions on salaries.

I don't understand why we can't just spend three or four thousand to make sure that that million is being spent in the right way. So I think it's one of the best and we don't sell any salary service. So I'm not trying to promote ourselves. I'm just saying as HR teams go and look at all the different options out there, the different surveys, but that's the best investment that you can make.

Fay Wallis:

I think one of the things you said there is so key, the fact that pay can be such a significant financial cost to an organisation if you are spending millions on paying everybody. Surely that's such a clear cut business case when you say it like that Rameez, that we just need a few thousand pounds so this potentially can save us a lot of money, or at least make sure that we are spending these millions correctly.

You just mentioned about paying for access to pay data, and you said, oh, we don't have a salary survey that we sell to people. Do you have any recommendations for everyone listening about where they should go to to get really robust data?

Rameez Kaleem:

Part of the reason that we don't, because there are so many different options depending on the sector and size of the organisation.

For example, we'd speak to an organisation and say, where do you typically recruit people from? What sort of organizations are people coming from and where do people go when they leave? Because that's the sort of organizations you want to benchmark against. And so if an organisation is in financial services, it might be that Willis Towers, Watson or McClaggan's go to that might be the best data source.

If you work in the charity or non profit sector, maybe Xpert HR or Sendex might be the best source. So it's really understanding what sector or size the organizations are. And then often there are two or three different options. So we would then work with them to look at their participant list to say, which one of these participants or organizations would you feel is the best comparator to you that you would want to, use.

So unfortunately, I don't think it's as simple as this is the best source. There's so many out there such as Mercer, Korn Ferry Willis Towers Watson, Radford, Cendex. So all of these different providers, it's just figuring out which sector you in and then looking. I would always ask those providers to say, tell me which participants are in this survey.

And then on that basis, decide which data you want.

Fay Wallis:

It's absolutely fine. If you can't just say Oh yes, this one place is the best place to go. It's going to be incredibly helpful for everyone just to even have an idea of where they could be going to and also what those key questions are to be asking.

Coming back to your five step process, you've helped make it far less overwhelming by explaining about the reward principles and philosophy and strategy, so the why and then also the how, but I'm just a little bit worried in case people are still thinking, Oh, gosh, there are these five steps we've got to go through.

It still feels a bit overwhelming. What would your advice be to anyone feeling like that to help them feel less overwhelmed so that they do take action and start implementing pay transparency in their organisation?

Rameez Kaleem:

I agree. I think it can be a little overwhelming, but this is where, you know, I was saying how pay transparency isn't a you either have it or you don't.

It's a journey. And I think the first thing is we need to try and make a business case for pay transparency with our leaders to say, this is something we should be doing. And then once we do that and make that commitment, maybe just start off by looking at your reward strategy and pay philosophy, just start off with this.

And then gradually you might decide to move up and look at the following steps, but don't think that you have to do everything at once. Just start off with step number one, go through that, run a session with your leadership team. And then once you have that in place, then maybe think about moving. Cause you know, we've worked with organizations where they might do everything in four months.

And then we're currently working with Harper Collins, for example, and they want do it over two years. And so it really depends on your objectives, how quickly you want to go through that process, but. It's just do what works well for you. You don't have to do everything at once, but at least make a commitment and then start the process because it's, it's, it's very easy to say this is too much and then just put it off completely, but just break it down into very simple steps and just do step one.

Fay Wallis:

What wonderfully reassuring advice to have everyone here. And we're actually at the point of the interview where I ask every guest who comes on the show if they'd like to share a nonfiction book recommendation or a confidence building tip. I think you've just inadvertently shared a great confidence building tip with us, which is about taking things in manageable little steps and not thinking you've got to do the whole thing at once.

So am I allowed to ask you then if you have a nonfiction book recommendation for us

today?

Rameez Kaleem:

I have so many because I try and get through one to two books every month. So there's, I mean, I mentioned one at the start, which was the start with why from Simon Sinek, the one that I really liked when I, I think it sort of helped me quit my job as well was quiet by Susan Cain.

It's all about the power introverts. And I think it helps you recognize some of your strengths, which you don't really see a strengths in the workplace because a lot of our workplaces and schools and everything are tailored to as extroverts. I think going back to that point of making small changes, the book I would recommend is called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

And it's around how we can often see things as these big obstacles or achievements and just put them off. But real change comes from very small, uh, consistent changes. And in the book, he talks about 1 percent change and how that accumulates to over time, sort of 37 times more than where you started off, And so, for example, you could, you know, do 50 pushups or go to the gym for five hours, and it's not going to make any difference.

But if you do two pushups consistently for three months, then you'll see a massive change. And those are the sort of things which, you know, if I use the example of when I wrote the book, it's, there were so many steps to get to that. And it's, if somebody is thinking about writing a book, then don't just think of it as, Oh, this is too much.

I can't do it. Just, Just write two pages and you might enjoy writing those two pages and then tomorrow or next week you write another two pages and then in three months you have your first draft and then in another six months you have your second draft and so I think just break everything down into simple steps that you can do consistently rather than trying to do too much.

Fay Wallis:

If I ever decide to write a book then Rameez, you're going to be the first person I come to for advice. That sounds like fabulous advice and interestingly I think that Quiet has been recommended on the show three times now. So that is a clear signal it's a book worth reading for anyone who is thinking, Hmm, I'd like to really have a book to get stuck into.

Which one should I pick? That sounds like it's a big winner. And for anyone listening today who would love to learn more about your work or get in touch with you, what is the best way of them doing

that?

Rameez Kaleem:

Well, people can connect with me on LinkedIn. It's Rameez Kaleem. The website is 3r- strategy. com and the book A Case of the Mondays is available on Amazon and on Audible. But like I said, if you go to the website, you will be able to download a free copy of Audible on the website.

Fay Wallis:

And of course, there's your podcast as well, if people want to hear more about your wisdom.

Rameez Kaleem:

Yes, the podcast is also called The Case of the Mondays around the book, and it's looking at topics around pay, pay transparency, but sometimes also topics, any topics that might interest HR professionals, such as succession planning or gender pay gap reporting.

Fay Wallis:

So another great resource for everybody. Well, all that leaves me to say is a huge thank you for your time today Rameez. It has just been wonderful to have you on the show.

Rameez Kaleem:

Thanks a lot Fay, I really enjoyed our conversation and I hope everyone finds this helpful.

Fay Wallis:

I'm sure they will.

That brings us to the end of today's episode and I hope you enjoyed hearing from Rameez as much as I did.

I'll make sure that I put links to all the resources he talked about in the show notes for you so that you can easily find them. And if you're finding HR Coffee Time useful, I would be hugely grateful if you're happy to leave a rating and review for the show on whichever podcast platform you're listening to it on right now, as this makes such a big difference in helping new listeners find the show.

And I would just love to help as many HR and people professionals as I can with this free podcast. Thank you so much, and if you do leave a rating or review, please do let me know so I can say a big thank you to you. Have a great rest of your day, and I am looking forward to being back again soon with the next episode for you.