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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Penaloza

The Path To Pay Transparency: Five Critical Success Factors to Achieve Pay Equity

pay equity pay transparency

Pay transparency and pay equity continue to be challenging for many clients we work with, so we've put together our top five tips for a path to pay transparency that hopefully can provide some clarity and guidance. Here’s our tip number one! 

If you are pursuing a path to pay transparency, then pay equity is inevitably top of mind. Addressing pay equity is no longer a “nice to have”, but a “must do”. Not just because it is the right thing, but because employees are demanding it, laws require it and it makes good business sense to attract and retain innovative talent for your future.  

So, why is it so hard? Unfortunately, there is no one answer or clear roadmap because the challenge is different for every organization. Here is a checklist of five key success factors to effectively tackle pay equity:

1. Understand the Problem  

This can be harder than it sounds because it requires accurate data and the analytical capability to evaluate and assess what the data is telling you. Start by identifying the key metrics you want and can measure and assign accountability for a regular cadence of review (not just once a year).

2. Take a Cross-functional Approach

Truly achieving pay equity requires a cross-functional approach across all of HR, not just an initiative led by Compensation. If you want to identify root causes and build sustainable solutions, engage all functions of HR – recruiting, talent management, HRBPs, and HRIS. Consider activating a cross-functional team that is responsible not only for the pay equity strategy but also for the tactical execution required.

3. Embed Diligence in Everyday Decisions

Tackling pay equity requires diligence in everyday decisions. A sustainable solution involves looking at every aspect of core HR processes where pay decisions are made – from hiring to promotions to merit decisions. Take the time to do pay equity process mapping to identify and put in place guardrails and controls in all areas where decisions that affect pay equity are made.

4. Build Manager Capability

At the end of the day, your managers are on the front line making talent and pay decisions. Training them to be knowledgeable about your compensation processes, your strategy and goals around pay equity and the criticality of the role they play can make all the difference. Make sure to build compensation and pay equity training into your manager development programs.

5. Secure Leadership Commitment for the Long Haul

Achieving pay equity takes time and leadership commitment. Organizations are living and breathing ecosystems that are changing every day. If you truly want to move the needle, it requires a long-term commitment from leadership and active executive championship to keep it as a priority as business needs evolve. Engage executive leadership on the strategy for addressing pay equity and build in regular updates to ensure it remains top of mind.

The Bottom Line is...

Achieving pay equity takes hard work and has many tentacles. For your business to attract and retain the talent you need, pay equity must be a priority. But, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming or paralyzing.  With the right upfront diagnosis of your challenges, an articulated strategy, and operational execution you can get your organization on the right path.

Want to learn more about how Nua can help? Drop us a line at!

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