Kent County Council to train staff on new pay structure

Kent County Council is training its managers as part of efforts to ensure its performance management processes complement its new pay and reward structure.

Earlier this year, the council removed the annual incremental pay points from its pay grades and the introduction of annual percentage increases assigned to each appraisal rating.

In June, the local authority plans to roll out a training programme to around 1,500 managers to ensure they understand the new pay structure and how to engender employees’ full capabilities for the greater good of the organisation.

The programme is based on the council’s existing ‘Ways to success’ framework, which outlines positive behaviours, including personal resourcefulness, relationship building, customer service and effective management.

Colin Miller, reward manager at Kent County Council, said: “Our approach is maturing to the way in which we deploy it ‘Ways to success’ in practice and the way in which managers actually use it as a tool to help tease out the different levels if performance that individuals can deliver.”

As part of the new pay and reward structure, managers will be required to draw up a formal recommendation for an employee’s appraisal rating. This is then put through the council’s moderation process before it is finalised

“We can then understand how many people we have got in each assessment category and we can balance that relative to how much we want to as regards the budget,” Miller said. “That is where everybody with the same appraisal rating will get the same award and that is where there is the big switch in the change we are introducing now.

“Previously, people at the top of the grade in which we had about the third of the population would not have been able to benefit. They were at the top of grade and that was it. Now they will get the same amount albeit as a one-off payment rather than being built into base pay.”

Although Miller said the move to the new pay and reward structure was not part of a cost-saving exercise, he admitted it would allow the council to have greater control over a diminishing funding pot.

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