Tag: Diversity

2018 British Army Pay Scales – Is Transparency a Good Thing?

In 2016 the British Army announced their New Employment Model (NEM) which outlined changes to, amongst other things, employee’s pay, pension and accommodation benefits.

I’ve been asked by several people to talk about what I thought about the changes and began thinking about how this could be relevant to the readers who are not employed by the British Army.

In this article I will explore the transparency of the British Army’s pay scale, how it differs to the pay scales of corporate enterprises and the pros and cons of both.

The British Army Pay Scale 2018

Below is a table that lays out the exact pay received by everyone in the British Army. Pay reflects the rank of the individual and the time served in that rank, this is achieved by the banding system.

Rank & Pay Scale of the British Army 2018

Rank & Pay Scale of the British Army 2018

To understand more about the pay scale of the British Army you must also understand how promotion from one band or rank to another works. Promotion from one band to the other is automatic and happens yearly. For example if you spend 3 years as a corporal, you will be earning £31,017, as you’ll be in band 3.

Promotion isn’t as ‘automatic’ but if you’re relatively competent, in the majority of cases, you’ll know when you’re going to promote from one rank to another (within a couple of years). This is because there is a stipulated minimum amount of time everyone must spend in each rank. Once you become ‘in-zone’ i.e. you’re now eligible to promote, your reports will go to a board where they decide if you promote that year or not.

What Are the Positives of a Structured Pay Scale?

Predictability

A system like this allows employees to predict, with a level of confidence, when they should expect their next pay rise. This clearly has benefits when trying to plan one’s financial situation. It allows employees to consider the affordability of babies, holidays and new cars whilst considering what will and won’t be affordable in the future. This prevents employees from ‘hedging their bets’ on that big promotion or pay rise that they might just not get.

Stability

This ties in to the previous point to a certain extent. Unlike bonuses or unpredictable pay rises, having a system such as the British Army’s assures employees that they’re guaranteed a certain wage, which at least within their rank, is guaranteed to go up for between 5-7 years.

Transparency

This system means that both the employer and employee are being open and honest about employee’s pay. It eliminates the risk of salary based rumours and reduces the risk of employee dissatisfaction. As a public service organisation transparency, especially concerning finance, is of course imperative.

Equality

A system like this means that the risk of inequality of pay is reduced significantly. 2 people doing the same job in the same rank with same experience (time served) will earn the exact same salary regardless of gender, race or religion. Read my recent article about The British Army’s Policy on Equality and Diversity to understand why this is so important in a work place.

Of course, one could argue that there is still a possibility for inequality due to the subjectivity of the promotion process – but even this is very unlikely!

Equality in the British Army

Equality in the British Army

Appropriate Pay

When everyone’s salary, from the newest recruit to the Commanding Officer, is public knowledge it forces the people at the top of the chain who set the pay scale to ensure the pay of all employees is justifiable and appropriate. This prevents the high ranked employees (CEO equivalents) from being paid astronomical salaries and bonuses whilst those at the bottom are suffering.

Leadership

It is my opinion that when those lower down the ranks can clearly see the salaries of those above, and see that the salary of the CEO is not over 10 times that of someone new to the company (which can often be the case in civilian organisations), it allows those in charge to communicate with their subordinates in a much more empathetic way. This reduces any resent for the Chain of Command and allows all employees (regardless of rank) to focus on the team goals. More can be read about The British Army’s 2017 Leadership Code.

The 9 values and standards of the British Army

The British Army’s Values and Standards

What Are the Cons of a Structured Pay System?

Incentive

When your salary is set in stone and has limitations on it based on time served and qualifications held, it leaves little opportunity for an employee to excel in the workplace in the hope of a pay rise/bonus. Admittedly, if you excel in the British Army you’re more likely to gain a promotion and subsequently receive a better salary but there are still limits.

Complacency

Likewise if you know that whilst you may not promote, your salary is guaranteed to increase by up to £1,500 a year for the next 5-7 years, it could breed complacency in the work place.

Retention

Highly ranked officers in the British Army are frequently  in charge of over 400 people. With regards to the ‘Appropriate Pay’ point above, it could be argued that a structured pay system does not allow enough of an incentive to remain in the organisation when their peers (managing over 400 people in a civilian environment) could expect to earn over £200,000.

Could a Civilian Company Adopt a Similar Pay Structure?

In short, my opinion is that they couldn’t, although they’d be better people orientated organisations if they could. The reason I don’t think they could is the fundamental differences in a public sector organisation compared to a capitalist one. In an ordinary company you need to be profitable, this might mean paying above the odds for the right person for the job, freezing salaries because you’ve had a bad year, giving someone a pay rise because you don’t want to lose them or a bonus to reflect the money they’ve made for the company.

In the British Army, we all knew the pay structure and what we could expect to earn before we joined up – so we can’t complain! Similar systems are used in other public sector organisations such as the police force and the NHS. Other not-for-profit organisations such as charities have also been known to adopt similar systems.

Have Your Say

If you work for either a public service or civilian organisation/company I’d be interested to hear your opinions on the pros and cons listed above and perhaps any that I’ve not considered! Let me know in Your Thoughts or comment below and as always i’ll reply and may even elaborate on your thought in a future post.

-The Military CEO

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst LGBT. Equality and Diversity

2018 New British Army Equality And Diversity Campaign

Most people living in the UK will have seen the British Army’s new (and controversial) recruitment campaign.  You may have also noticed the equality and diversity theme throughout.  This article is going to look at the importance of equality and diversity in The British Army and why it’s just as important in an ordinary workplace.

Can I Be Gay In The Army. Equality and Diversity - The Military CEO

One of the campaign advertisements

The Recruitment Campaign

In early 2018 The British Army released a campaign to recruit more people from a diversity of genders, sexualities, ethnicities and faiths.  In a series of animations released on social media, the campaign positively answers questions such as “Can I be gay in the army?” and “What if I get emotional in the army?”.  General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of the general staff, said The Army needed to change how it recruited and looked after trainees. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he denied claims that the “This is belonging 2018” campaign showed the army had “gone soft”.

I agree that the campaign doesn’t mean that The Army has gone soft. I do think however that it shows The Army is moving in the right direction to adopt its equality and diversity policies.

Whether the campaign has been successful will be difficult to measure but it depends in the way you measure its success.  If you are measuring it from a recruitment point of view, then i’m not sure if appealing to minorities is the best way to deal with The British Army’s recruitment crisis. However if the aim of the campaign is to convince the public that as an organisation we’re making an effort to ‘move with the times’ then maybe yes, it might have been successful.

It is however my opinion that the campaign IS representative of our values and standards. Read more about our values and standards in an article about The British Army’s New Leadership Code.

Regardless, any publicity is good publicity, so let’s look at the idea of equality and diversity in the workplace.

What Does Equality And Diversity In The British Army Mean?

A Harvard Business Review article recognises the link between good leadership and embracing equality and diversity in the workplace.  But before we even begin to understand why we embrace it, the first consideration should be that it’s the law!

The 2010 Equality Act protects employees against discrimination against the following things:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

Can The British Army Discriminate?

Yes It Can.

The British Army can, and does (in certain circumstances), sensitively discriminate against the following things:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex

Briefly summarised, age is discriminated against in that there are limits on recruitment ages. Disability is discriminated against in certain circumstances when someone would not be able to carry out their duty as a soldier. And finally, sex is discriminated against as females are currently unable to perform certain roles in the military. Sex is the most controversial of the 3 at the moment with females able to fill more and more roles they were previously unable to.

In certain instances The Army can also enforce dress and appearance regulations. Great care is taken however to try and prevent an infringement on people’s religious beliefs.

Why Is Equality And Diversity Important In The Army?

There are many reasons that come to me when thinking about this question.  But in every instance it is my opinion that diversity allows for a more effective fighting unit and team. Read my article that explores the equality in the pay structure in the British Army.

Listed below are just a few of the reasons:

Understanding Other Cultures

A soldier that is able to associate with a culture that the British Army may be operating in provides a huge advantage. Whether it’s due to the soldier’s upbringing, religion or region of upbringing; being able to empathise with local nationals and understand local traditions can often be more valuable than any other type of intelligence.

The British Army talk to local nationals in Afghanistan, 2008. Equality and Diversity

The British Army talk to local nationals in Afghanistan, 2008.

Speaking Other Languages

For many of the reasons listed previously some soldiers are multi-lingual. In non-English speaking regions we are required to use interpreters. Having a soldier on your patrol that speaks the native language is invaluable!

A Diversity Of Skills

I don’t need 30 soldiers that are expert shots. The British Army requires expert medics, cooks and engineers too. It requires people that are compassionate, people that are strong and people that are clever. If you know someone who is an expert at all of the above and more, send that person my way – but the point is that different people of different cultures, religions and sexes may be better at different things.

A Diversity Of Experiences

Some of my soldiers have been in The Army since 16 whilst others have held civilian jobs for 10+ years before joining. This not only gives us the ability to understand the differences when working with civilians but also take advantage of those skills learnt, and in some cases mastered, before joining The Army.

Because It’s The Right Thing To Do

As an army we preach morals, ethics and values. As a leader how can we preach values in certain instances and not in arguably the most important instance.

What You Should Do As A Leader To Encourage Equality And Diversity

There are many things you can do as a leader. Some are easy and some much more difficult.

Recruit Equally and Diversely

This is the easiest of all if you’re in the position to do it.  But practice what you preach and do what the heading says, recruit equally and diversely.

Challenge Inappropriate Language and Behaviour

This ties nicely into the saying “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”. I’ll let the previous Australian Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison explain. This is one of my favourite videos of all time when teaching values and standards.

Manage Banter

As a leader ensure that you’re very clear about where the line is between harassment or bullying and banter. This leads nicely on to enforcing another of my favourite phrases.

The intent of what you do or say does not matter, it is the impact of what you do that you’ll be judged on.

Encourage Inclusivity

As every post i’ve written suggests, a manager has employees, a leader has a team. You are just one person so it is imperative you encourage an inclusive culture and expect it of every single one of your team.

Have Your Say

Equality and diversity in the armed forces is controversial in almost every army around the world. Do you think that there still remains a place for discrimination in the armed forces and to what extent? Let me know in Your Thoughts or comment below and as always i’ll reply and may even elaborate on your thought in a future post.

-The Military CEO

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén