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Compensation Objectives
The objectives behind the City's compensation program are to —
• Maintain internal equity by objectively evaluating jobs to assure that a position's responsibilities are valued fairly as compared to others within the organization.
• Ensure external competitiveness by developing and maintaining compensation levels that reflect current market rates of pay.
• Promote a pay-for-performance philosophy by providing incremental pay increases that distinguish between levels of performance.
• Ensure that compensation actions comply with federal, state and local legal requirements.
• Provide employees with information on the compensation process, the overall pay structure and market target pay or step rate pay for each job.
• Provide flexibility so the system remains responsive to changes in the marketplace, the organization and the economic conditions within our industry.
Salary Surveys
As a further guide in establishing equitable salaries and wages, the city periodically conducts comparable wage and salary surveys. Such studies help to ensure that our rates of pay compare favorably with rates for work of a similar nature within the City and in similar job situations in this area.
The city compares salaries for benchmark positions on a local basis and extends this comparison for certain exempt-level positions and all senior-level management positions to a regional and national market. Benchmark positions are comparable jobs found in other organizations requiring similar knowledge, skills and abilities to jobs within the city. The comparison mix is 70 percent public sector and 30 percent private sector data, where applicable.
The city generally conducts its own surveys of local public, local private and national public sector employers and purchases salary survey data from a number of other sources. The list of participants varies from year to year, but generally includes the following cities"
Market Surveys
Local Independence, MO
Johnson County, KS
Kansas City, MO
Lawrence, KS
Lenexa, KS Olathe, KS
Shawnee, KS
Topeka, KS
Unified Gov't of WYCO/KCK Water District No. 1 of Johnson County, KS
National Ann Arbor, MI
Aurora, CO
Bellevue, WA
Bloomington, MN
Cedar Rapids, IA
Colorado Springs, CO
Des Moines, IA
Ft. Collins, CO Grand Rapids, MI
Irving, TX
Lubbock, TX
Minneapolis, MN
Naperville, IL Plano, TX
Richardson, TX
Rochester, MN
St. Louis, MO
Tempe, AZ
Wichita, KS
Pay Structures
When you work for the City of Overland Park, Kansas, you can expect the City to do its best to provide competitive pay and benefits and favorable working conditions. You can look forward to the prestige that comes from working for a widely recognized and highly respected municipality.
An important part of employment is compensation. Employees want to be compensated fairly for their talents and the work that they perform. The most measurable evidence of employee performance is salary. A regular paycheck is a constant reminder of your relationship with the City.
This section is intended to help you understand the factors involved in your compensation. Experience, training, and other qualifications contribute significantly in establishing starting salary, and your performance within the work group plays an equally important role as you progress up to, and beyond, the market target rate for your job.
• Determining Compensation
• Job Banding and Slotting
• Job Levels within Bands
• Target Rates of Pay
• Determining Compensation
Individual salaries are determined by a performance program designed to be competitive within the job market, equitable across the City, and in conformance with the City's financial position and ability to pay.
In order to communicate the City's pay structures, we will explain how each job is valued within the City's compensation structure; how jobs are slotted into job bands; and how the actual delivery of employee compensation is accomplished through the establishment of "target rates of pay."

• Job Banding and Slotting
• Job banding is the process of grouping the many jobs from the various departments throughout the City in a logical manner. Job banding clusters City jobs around occupations that are similar in their nature of work.
• Each job is assessed to determine specific requirements, expectations and performance standards at a market target (competent) level. The placement of a job into the banding structure is based on what the position should be doing, rather than what the position could be doing, or what the individual in the job is actually doing.
• Job band slotting is the placement of a job into a band based on its type of work and then at a particular level within the band according to its requirements and responsibilities. Each band has a unique definition, and there are specific levels defined for each band. The table below summarizes the City's five bands.
City of Overland Park's Job Bands
Band Definition
Operational oversight of a work unit or team, where managing/supervising (rather than performing) work is the focus of the position
Application of conceptual knowledge in a professional field, where professional judgment is required
Technical Specialist
Application of technical skills (specially trained, paraprofessional) and technical judgment to produce work of greater complexity
Operations Specialist
Application of general operations/maintenance skills to produce work within well-defined direction
Administrative Specialist
Application of general administrative/office skills to produce work within well-defined direction
Job levels within Bands
Each of the five bands has a range of jobs with varying levels of required qualifications and specific responsibilities. These "job levels" begin at "one" and range upward. Individual bands can vary in their actual number of levels.
The following describes the band levels for each of the five bands within the City's current pay structure.
Management Band Levels
Level Sample Job Title(s) Qualifications Responsibilities
IV Manager Degree (possibly advanced degree) in the professional field or equivalent depth of knowledge of a technical field
3-5+ years of experience in the field (performing/ supervising)
Management experience Manager (rather than Supervisor) of a work unit, with responsibility for planning, resource allocation, and oversight of multiple projects and processes
Scope of work unit is either: 1) a large group performing work of moderate complexity or 2) a small group performing work of higher complexity
III Supervisor-Professional Degree in the professional field or equivalent depth of knowledge of a technical field, plus several years of applied work in that field
Supervisory experience First-level Supervisor of professional work
Directs work and assures that it meets professional standards
Keeps the team current on related professional expertise or development
II Supervisor-Technician Knowledge of the technical specialty, plus several years experience performing it (may be indicated through a paraprofessional degree or certification)
Supervisory experience First-level Supervisor of high-level administrative/operations or technical specialist work
Directs work and also keeps the team current on new technology and/or procedures
I Supervisor-Administrative/
Operations Knowledge of the administrative or operations processes, plus several years experience performing them
Supervisory experience First-level Supervisor of general administrative or operations work
" True" Supervisor with responsibility for work direction, scheduling and performance management

Professional Band Levels
Level Sample Job Title(s) Qualifications Responsibilities
V Expert Professional Experienced Expert Professional in a specialized profession (i.e. engineering or law).
Has well-developed leadership qualities. Defines, directs, and provides leadership for highly complex and challenging programs/projects.
Provides guidance and instruction to less experienced professionals; may lead large project/program teams; may define and develop internal policies and procedures.
Provides expert guidance and instruction in directing diverse, complex issues.
May represent division, department or City as principle point of contact in providing advice or guidance.
May formulate and recommend position on major projects/ programs.
Has end-to-end responsibility for major projects/programs.
IV Senior/Lead Professional Experienced Professional plus several years of additional experience
Project leadership experience, including the requisite planning, organizing and people skills Build projects in order to deliver on-time, on-budget and to quality standards
Lead the development of programs (including reports, processes and tools)
May or may not provide work direction to a matrix project team
Has end-to-end responsibility for projects
III Experienced Professional Specialized Professional plus several years of applied experience
Strong generalist or specialist skills in the field Prepare reports, processes and tools that are the key outcomes of important projects
Make recommendations about broader situations or events according to professional principles
II Specialized Professional Degree in the professional field plus 1-2 years of applied experience to gain specialized knowledge
Or, may be entry-level in a specialized professional field (e.g., engineering, law) with appropriate degree or advanced degree Work on more complicated projects or assignments that require specialized professional knowledge to synthesize and interpret information
Make recommendations about particular situations or events according to professional standards
I Entry Professional Degree in the professional field Work on projects or assignments that require basic professional knowledge to synthesize and interpret information
May make very basic recommendations

Technical Specialist Band Levels
Level Sample Job Title(s) Qualifications Responsibilities
IV Lead/Expert Technician Unique skill set, most technician families will not have this level
People skills required for providing work leadership, training, and other high-level interactions May serve as a team lead but not a true supervisor for a small work unit, particularly for training entry-level technicians
May also or alternatively work in a highly visible role as chief technician, dealing extensively with the management and professional staff and decision makers in external organizations
III Senior Technician Experienced Technician plus several additional years of applied experience
Demonstrated ability to handle the most complex situations May have responsibility for a standing set of technical processes or activities
Has considerable responsibility for applying technical judgment to help resolve problems
II Experienced Technician Entry Technician plus several years of applied experience
Demonstrated depth of knowledge and ability to handle a variety of situations Works with less supervision on technical projects or assignments
Handles many technical processes without direct review
I Entry Technician Paraprofessional (typically 2-year) degree in a technical field or equivalent training (e.g., vendor courses) and on-the-job experience Works on projects or assignments that involve application of technical (how-to) knowledge and judgment in specific situations

Operations Specialist Band Levels
Level Sample Job Title(s) Qualifications Responsibilities
V Lead Operations Specialist Experienced Sr. Operations Specialist or Complex Operations Specialist plus people skills required for providing some work leadership and training May serve as a team lead but not true supervisor for a small work unit, particularly for training Entry Operations Specialists
IV Complex Operations Specialist Knowledge of a Senior Operations Specialist plus formal training in and experience with every type of technology, process, and solution related to the position Performs the most difficult or complicated operations activities with limited direction
III Senior Operations Specialist Knowledge of an Experienced Operations Specialist plus experience with various types of non-standard work situations that arise, as well as solid equipment operation skills across all applicable machines for the job family Performs a wide range of operations activities using all tools and equipment for the work unit, and handles complex problems that require troubleshooting
II Experienced Operations Specialist Knowledge of work setting, equipment operation and preventative maintenance and all related procedures Performs a range of operations activities including using most tools and equipment
I Entry Operations Specialist Familiarity with specific work setting of the job (environment, protocol, safety) Performs basic operations activities including use of simple tools and equipment

Administrative Specialist Band Levels
Level Sample Job Title(s) Qualifications Responsibilities
V Lead Administrative Specialist Experienced Sr. Administrative Specialist or Complex Administrative Specialist plus people skills required for providing some work leadership and training May serve as a team lead but not true supervisor for a small work unit, particularly for training Entry Administrative Specialists
IV Complex Administrative Specialist Knowledge of a Senior Administrative Specialist plus formal training in and experience with every type of technology, process, and solution related to the position Performs the most difficult or complicated administrative activities with limited direction
III Senior Administrative Specialist Knowledge of an Experienced Administrative Specialist plus experience with various non-standard work situations that arise, also knowledge of all applicable administrative software and procedures specific to the job family Performs a wide range of administrative activities, including skilled use of all types of office software for the work unit, and handles projects that require pulling resources together and choosing the best course of action
II Experienced Administrative Specialist Knowledge of office procedures and proficient typing/data entry skills Performs a range of administrative activities, including skilled use of most types of office software
I Entry Administrative Specialist Familiarity with an office environment Performs basic administrative activities including use of simple office machines (e.g., copier, fax) and word processing software
Target Rates of Pay
Target rates of pay (also called market target rates of pay) were established by the city for each level within the respective bands. They reflect the competitive job market from which the city hires employees. The previously mentioned salary surveys, which include positions comparable to those with the city, are closely analyzed to obtain the competitive data and establish benchmarks and market target rates of pay. The Human Resources Department regularly conducts job market analyses and reports the results to the City Manager each year.
Each level within every band has a market target rate set at approximately 5 percent above the average rates of pay for benchmarked jobs within that level. For example, if the market study for a particular band level should be $2,500 per month, the city's market target for that level would be $2,625 (a 5 percent premium).
Each band will be adjusted according to the specific market analysis and individual bands will not necessarily adjust at the same rate. It is expected that all levels within a given band to move at the same rate of adjustment unless a multi-year trend indicates there should be pay adjustments within the band.
2008 Market Target Rates of Pay (monthly gross salary)
Band Level I Level II Level III Level IV Level V
$4,465 $5,706 $7,591 $8,434 $9,516
$4,444 $5,070 $6,258 $6,697 $7,099
Tech Specialist
$3,654 $3,997 $4,397 $4,796 —
Ops. Specialist
$2,616 $3,285 $3,528 $3,953 $4,136
Admin. Specialist
$2,610 $3,278 $3,522 $3,945 $4,371
Although no formal salary minimum or maximum is listed for each job, the city works within a range of 20 percent below to 20 percent above each market target rate of pay. Twenty percent below the market target rate is the usual minimum hiring rate; and 20 percent above the market target rate is the usual maximum rate of pay.
For example, if the market target rate for a job is $3,522 per month, the minimum is 80 percent of the market target, or $2,818. Likewise, the maximum rate of pay is 120 percent of the market target rate, or $4,227. The market target rates of pay are shown in the chart above.
Pay Delivery
Ongoing Pay Adjustments
Most employees achieving a satisfactory (or better) performance rating are eligible for ongoing pay adjustments. Pay increases for city employees (except fire and police personnel in step plans) consist of two components:
1. Market Adjustment
2. Performance Increase
Market Adjustment
The market adjustment portion of your compensation is based on your salary and its relationship to the market target rate of pay for your job. The purpose behind this type of increase is to accelerate your movement up to the market target rate of pay for your job to assure that you are being paid a competitive rate of pay. Please also note that the market target rate of pay for your job represents an approximate 5 percent premium adjustment above the average market target. Although the percentages will be reviewed annually, the table below illustrates how this pay component works.
2008 Market Adjustment
Relation to Market Target Percentage Increase
100% or above 0.0%
90-99% 0.0% up to 1%
80-89% 2%
Less than 80% Greater of % required to bring up to 80% or 3%
*Performance must be satisfactory to be eligible for a market adjustment.
Consider the example of an employee whose current monthly salary is $2,800, with a market target rate of $3,285. The employee's "relation to market target" is 85.2 percent, calculated by dividing the current salary by the market target rate ($2,800/$3,285). Since this employee's rate of pay is 80 percent to 89 percent of the market rate, he or she is eligible to receive a market adjustment increase of 2 percent. For example, a 2 percent increase would provide a $56 per month increase. This increase is in addition to any performance increase adjustment.
Performance Increase
The city's pay-for-performance philosophy is designed to award performance increases based on a 3-rating system. Let's review each rating and the description statements that explain each rating.
Rating Description
Exceptional Performer Consistently performs beyond expectations and has demonstrated outstanding skill, knowledge and initiative in the job. This rating recognizes truly outstanding contributions to the organization, within the scope of the position. Accomplishments have made a significant impact on the mission of the department and consistently exceed those of other employees in the same job family or work group
Performs Well Consistently performs the duties of the position; meets and occasionally exceeds all expected criteria for quality, quantity, and timeliness of work. Consistently meets goals and objectives.
Improvement Required Performance marginally meets requirements of the position and periodically falls below them
Working under the guidelines of the three rating descriptions, an employee’s performance will be evaluated against the organization’s values as well as job-related factors. An employee will receive an overall rating in both areas and a combined score of those evaluations will determine a percentage of performance increase. Although the percentages will be reviewed annually, the 2008 Performance Increase Matrix below illustrates how this pay component works.
2008 Performance Increase Matrix
Organizational Values Exceptional Performer 0.0%-2.0% 4.25%-4.75% 5.25%-5.75%
Performs Well 0.0% 3.25%-3.75% 4.25%-4.75%
Improvement Required 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%-2.0%
Improvement Required Performs Well Exceptional Performer
Job Related Factors
*Our compensation system makes the assumption that
most employees are "performing well."
For example, if an employee receives a rating of "Performs Well" for organizational values and a "Performs Well" for job related factors, then the employee is eligible for a 3.25 percent to 3.75 percent performance increase.
Lump-Sum Increase
An employee's salary cannot exceed the market target by more than 20 percent. If an employee's salary reaches this level of pay, no further increase can be made to the base salary. An employee whose current salary is close to, or at 20 percent above their market target rate, is eligible to receive a one-time, lump-sum payment, which is not added to the base salary in that year, or a combination of performance increase and lump sum award.
To be eligible for this lump-sum payment, an employee must:
1. Be close to, or at 20 percent above their market target rate, and
2. Receive a performance rating of either "Performs Well" or "Exceptional Performer", and
3. Be approved for the one-time, lump-sum payment by their department director.
Timing of Pay Adjustments
Performance reviews are conducted on an annual basis. Awarded salary increases begin on or about the beginning pay period for April 1.
For example, the first pay period for April 2008 is March 30, 2008, making this date the effective date for all market adjustments and performance increases for 2008. Other pay adjustments can occur throughout the year, as discussed in the "Glossary of Compensation Terms."
Wage And Salary Surveys
Surveys are powerful tools when it comes to exploring the cost input and output of your organization. We at Fox Lawson & Associates are vastly experienced in the various uses of both wage and salary surveys. Our 20-year history of compensation consultations has permitted us an extraordinary amount of accurate information. We can provide your organization with timely market data and the tools to interpret the strengths and weaknesses of your present pay strategy.
Consider using a wage and salary survey as a means to facilitate discussion on what is and is not working. This is beneficial in creating an atmosphere of trust and community loyalty. This forum of discourse is especially important in a performance-driven work environment. You want to encourage your employees to take a real stake in the productivity level of your organization, and a well-designed salary schedule is a critical piece of that puzzle.
We encourage your organization to utilize the information gained by wage or salary surveys to maximize both productivity and profits. With our expertise and the valuable information gleaned from wage and salary surveys, you'll be able to organize your payment system, track promotions, and find real solutions to long-standing salary and motivation problems.
Plus, when you work with Fox Lawson & Associates to develop and implement wage and salary surveys, you'll find our senior level associates ready to help. Unlike with other consulting firms, your small or medium sized business won't be assigned a newly trained representative. Our most experienced team members will put their expertise to work for the long-term benefit your firm. For more information, please contact us at
Employee Compensation
The right employee incentives and rewards can make all the difference when it comes to retaining good workers. Competition among employers is fierce for good staff members, and companies naturally want to hold on to the best employees they have. It's often very difficult to find a suitable replacement once someone leaves, and lots of time, energy and money is spent on finding just the right person. In some cases, no one is ever found who can match the person who left. Headhunters do their best to draw the best people away, offering many attractive incentives and rewards for signing on elsewhere. Companies that hope to keep their top employees have to be prepared to make a better offer.

Compensation consulting can help today's businesses come up with just the right incentive and rewards programs to keep their best people. Determining the correct system for compensating employees is often a delicate process. Company goals must be balanced against available funds, while taking into consideration the average salaries in the company's field and knowing what the competition is offering. Professional compensation consultants take all of these things into consideration when structuring a new monetary rewards plan for a company. The new plan may include things such as quarterly bonuses, pay for performance plans, stock options and more.
Employee Incentive Plans
Employee incentive plans are incredibly effective means to inspire loyalty, commitment, and earnest hard work. A well-designed plan can improve not only the individual employee's outlook, but the organization as a whole. We at Fox Lawson & Associates believe that employee incentive plans can help you recognize the star players of your work group, while keeping track of the goals your organization seeks to reach.
One of the most commonly used employee incentive plans is recognition. Does this sound too simple? Don't underestimate the power of positive feedback, open communication lines between managers and support staff, and acknowledgment to truly inspire employee motivation. Our dedicated market surveys reveal that although payment is the most vital incentive for any staff, recognition can promote a healthy workplace environment, helping you retain your employees' dependability.
A recognition program can highlight several key areas such as length of service, peer recognition, daily or monthly appreciation days, or particular recognition for a specific job well done. When you are developing an employee incentive plan, it is important to follow a path that ultimately leads your organization forward towards a system-wide goal. This goal should positively affect not only productivity, but also relationships between supervisors and staff members. We can help you devise such a plan, incorporating innovative ideas to stimulate your employees to achieve company goals.
pay strategy & design

We believe that pay is most effective when it forms part of a coherent overall plan.
Too often, components of the pay package are designed and assembled ad-hoc. This creates a negative image of complexity, confusion and mystery.
This is most evident in executive pay, where pay plans are frequently both over-engineered and sharply at variance with arrangements elsewhere in the organisation.
If people do not understand their own pay arrangements it is likely that some of the money is wasted.
If pay arrangements need to be hidden, their impact is likely to be divisive.
If pay plans are inconsistent across the organisation they are likely to be perceived as unfair.
We believe that open, fair, consistent and explainable pay arrangements are more likely to attract, retain and motivate staff.
To meet these criteria, we establish a total compensation framework for our clients. We work with them to migrate current pay arrangements to a destination compensation model that fits the chosen framework. We prepare communications materials to explain the way pay works. We test employee reactions through e-based questionnaires and make adjustments based on our findings.
We are interested in long term client relationships where we can improve the organisational effectiveness of pay.
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