Managing salary fairly

Caroline Mboijana, Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U). 

Dear Caroline, I have recently switched from working in corporate Uganda to working in the manufacturing sector. We have recently identified a need to recruit technical specialists in engineering. We have been sourcing for qualified engineers and I have noted that the reward and salary asks vary from one person to another, and in some cases, the ask is considerably high. I am concerned with the variation and how I can manage this.


Dear  Sheila, welcome to the world of manufacturing. Your transition will be exciting. I think the move to manufacturing will push your innovation boundaries. Regarding your query, I think you need to be mindful that within some sectors of manufacturing, there will always be variation, and this is because the manufacturing sector in Uganda is not very large, so the qualified technical specialist, while being few, are also highly sought after so their reward and remuneration ask may be quite high. Like in any other sector, you must ensure that the specialists have the technical and behavioural competence depth you are asking for.

I wonder if your organisation has a salary structure because that would help address your concerns. You may want to consider this if you do not have a salary structure, as it will help you manage the salaries and ensure that all staff are paid fairly. This would speak significantly to national equity.  As you know, salary structure development concerns conducting a job analysis/ job evaluation.  It is also important to remember that job elevation and salary development are good structures to have in place. The process will address not only salary but also aspects such as ensuring that all roles have clearly defined job descriptions; the development of the salary structure will also allow for the articulation of the benefits. As you consider setting this up, you should consider undertaking a benchmarking exercise that allows you to have your data validated against the market sector data. You will likely achieve this by participating in a salary survey, and the survey data will also indicate the market rates for the different roles.

In conducting a salary survey, you must be mindful that such an exercise usually causes excitement, and this must be managed carefully. It is important that you work closely with senior management to have their support in the assignment delivery, and it is a process that needs to happen over a while. Good luck.

Caroline Mboijana,

Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U)  [email protected]