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Ray McDonald

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What does Pay Transparency Have to do with Organizational Culture and DEI? More than one would think.

Sep 6, 2023 1:39:37 PM / by Ray McDonald posted in Association Management


The past few weekswe’ve discussed the importance of providing pay transparency resources to your members in light of new regulations spreading across the country. However, regulations are not the only reason your organization should be providing these resources to your members. Pay transparency and DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion)are intertwined and by excelling in one, you are certain to start excelling in the other. 

So, what does Pay Transparency have to do with DEI and Organizational Culture? 3 things to consider:

1. Hiding Salary Ranges Can Create a Culture of Distrust:
When salary ranges are not disclosed, employees and candidates find themselves in a position to speculate what others in similar roles are making.It is human nature, right? We all want to know that we are being compensated for the work we provide in a comparable mannerto others. By knowing the range of pay for a particular position, employees and prospective candidates know what their growth potential is and that they are not being undercompensated for their position. 

2. Pay Transparency Helps Define Professional Growth Plans:
When an organization makes the decision to release pay transparency information, they will also want to ensure they have clearly outlined salary formulas that are tied to that position’s professional growth plan. This ensures that pay incentives are based on objective measures such as met performance KPI’s and not unconscious bias or discrimination. While this clearly helps employees understand that your organization is focused on equal and fair pay based on production and not subjective value, it is also good for budgeting purposes for the organization. Management can easily assesswho has met their promotion goals and then budget accordingly. 

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FAQ’s - Associations, Members and Pay Transparency Regulations

Aug 31, 2023 2:15:49 PM / by Ray McDonald posted in Association Management


Pay transparency is a term that you have probably heard a lot about recently, and if not, then there is a very good chance that you will soon.   

Like all new laws or regulations, this one comes in a number of different iterations, but it is another regulation that helps to ensure pay equity.  However, the bottom line is that if your organization is located or has employees in one of the 13 states or cities (more coming soon) that has enacted these regulations, then it is the law for you.  Your area's specific regulations dictate your required actions but at a minimum you must disclose the pay scale for every position. 

Benchmarking not only helps your members with one of the most important member benefits that an association can provide, but it also can now help your members with pay transparency/pay equity regulations.  If your association is not providing compensation and benefits data to your members, then you should seriously consider making this a cornerstone of value-added benefits that you offer.  A legacy type of survey does not allow the member to filter and benchmark against peers, so they run the risk of being out of balance with the industry. In terms of pay transparency, members that have data to make their decisions are more competitive and efficient.  This can be extremely impactful to not only your members' bottom line, but also significantly impact the culture at their organizations. 
That depends: if the member is a high performing organization that attracts and retains great talent then, you can bet it is very important.  Today’s workforce demands that their employer understand pay equity and high-performance teams that are intertwined with a culture of success.  It is impossible for employers to create this culture without knowing the numbers that lay the foundation for success.  Your association is the natural hub for this type of data and your members are hungry for it.   

Dynamic Benchmarking has many years of experience providing compensation and benefits benchmarking to associations. We can quickly help you setup pay transparency studies with easy to understand reports for your members to be more competitive in their respective markets. Click here to schedule a meeting with our team. 

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Compliance Should Never Be the Focus of Your DEI Journey

Jun 10, 2021 9:33:58 AM / by Ray McDonald posted in Benchmarking Process, Key Performance Indicators, Member Benefits, Benchmarking Analysis, Company News, Benchmarking Software Technology, Association Management, Association Surveys, Benchmarking for Associations, diversity and inclusion


Compliance plays a role in every organization and often there are programs or actions that are a direct result of ensuring compliance. It is fine if these programs involve transactional only items, but DEI is more than transactional. It is about the culture of the organization, the success of the team and ultimately the bottom line. Compliance may be able to address the diversity part of the equation, but that is not nearly enough to thrive it in today’s environment.

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It's Time To Grow Again

May 27, 2021 9:21:41 AM / by Ray McDonald posted in Member Benefits, Benchmarking Analysis, Company News, Benchmarking Software Technology, Association Management, Association Surveys, Benchmarking for Associations


I learned in one of my finance or economics classes (can’t really remember which) that economic and stock market growth can sometimes be as much a psychological exercise as it is a physical or fundamental exercise. Meaning, when people feel good or positive about something, it can have a strong impact on the performance of that activity. This is true in many areas of our lives. I know that when I stand over a golf ball on the tee box that my confidence meter is never completely neutral, it leans one way or another and typically my tee shot follows.

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Leagues & Associations Provide Valuable Guidance to Local Governments

Aug 18, 2020 2:51:50 PM / by Ray McDonald posted in Benchmarking for Associations


State and National Municipal Leagues and Associations are providing much needed help and support to their members during the COVID pandemic. So many of the traditional resources that municipalities have relied on historically are not applicable today, leaving our municipalities even more reliant on collective thinking and idea sharing, that only hubs like associations can provide.

According to July 30, 2020 data from the National Governors Association, 70% of funds provided to states through the CARES Act have already been obligated for expenditures. At the same time, the National League of Cities states that only 10% of funds are available for local governments. The latest estimates show that there will be an excess of $360 Billion shortfall for local governments across the country over the next 3 years.

We asked Eric Conrad, Director of Communication and Education for Maine Municipal Association and a Dynamic Benchmarking client, to weigh in on a few questions. According to Eric, the biggest need that all of his municipalities have immediately is help with funding. The budget shortfalls are pervasive throughout his membership. Funding sources are shrinking while the need for services remains high, and in situations more services are needed. He also stated, “His members are requesting new resources primarily in the areas of budget training, education on navigating the new “Keep Me Healthy” state website, and diversity training.” Eric also said that, “Having a long-standing annual salary benchmarking study has proven valuable to his members in allowing them to highlight the impact COVID-19’s had on their 2020 numbers.”

2020 has certainly been one for the records, and the fallout will go on for several years to come. The importance of leagues and associations will continue to increase as our members navigate a post COVID world.

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Diversity, Inclusion and Equality | “Replacing Opinions with Facts”

Jun 3, 2020 3:40:43 PM / by Ray McDonald posted in Association Surveys, diversity and inclusion


Let’s start the discussion with a question.  It is a fact that no company or organization will ever achieve greatness until all barriers for everyone to participate and contribute are broken down.  So why is it so hard to get it right, and why are organization
s hesitant to tackle the issue?  I submit that the reason is that they don’t know where to start, and they fear what they may find. 

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Importance of Trusted and Timely Data-Lessons Learned During COVID-19

Apr 30, 2020 3:15:00 PM / by Ray McDonald posted in Key Performance Indicators, Benchmarking for Associations


If we learned nothing else from the last 2 months, it is that you can’t properly treat or react to something that you do not understand. From day one, the politicians, the healthcare officials and the media have all basically been flying blind. Everyone is in the same boat, in that we are dealing with a disease that we know little about. Safety first caused us to take the most aggressive and drastic measures. Disagreements abound when it comes to almost everything except for the fact that we need more data and more testing. Timing of data has proven to be just as important as the data itself. A test that takes a week or more to return a result is not nearly as effective as one that can produce a result in hours.

The statement above rings true in the association world as well. Almost daily we hear our members say, we need more data. Everybody wants data, but collecting it can be a tough job for associations. Conducting a survey today about the impacts of COVID 19 that takes 2 weeks to produce a report, does not help our members. They need information yesterday. That is why associations that were already benchmarking, or at least understand the value of benchmarking can pivot quickly to address member needs. For many of our clients, we were able to stand up COVID-19 specific question set in 24 hours that helped their members understand temporary trends and movements within the market place. When things are happening as fast as they did in the last few months, it is important for your members to understand how others are reacting and to feel confident about their own behaviors and actions.

No one understands this better than Casey Sclar, the Executive Director of American Public Gardens Association, whose member gardens welcome almost 120 Million visitors per year and have been benchmarking since 2015.  Casey stated, “Pulling trusted data provided by our members from our benchmarking platform was paramount. We were able to easily translate the “green” it takes to make the “green” (earned revenue being lost while closed and ongoing expenses needed to maintain their living collections) to our members, stakeholders, and the general public. When you say that collectively our gardens are losing $3M per day in earned revenue (63% of their total revenue) and spending $42M per month in horticulture and facilities expenses alone, you know this is an estimate grounded in fact. People wake up at hearing these numbers, which could not have been possible without benchmarking.”

About Dynamic Benchmarking
Since our founding in 2010, Dynamic Benchmarking has been committed to helping businesses succeed by providing them with the most accurate, up-to-date and relevant performance metrics available. By combining the proven business concept of benchmarking studies, with the immediacy and reach of online crowdsourcing, we have built a powerful solution that delivers real-time, actionable data and comparisons. Through the KPI’s that are provided via our platform, both businesses and individuals can clearly determine areas of improvement as well as areas of success.

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