External market context

globe and paper figures

16 / 4 / 2014 Midnight


This page helps you to consider how competitive your reward strategy is in comparison to the external market.

Once you have reviewed your current reward situation, it will be necessary to look at the external labour markets to consider how competitive your current strategy is.

Some questions that will need to be considered are:

  • What practices and changes are evident amongst labour market competitors?
  • What are other NHS employers doing?
  • How much flexibility within the national agreements is being deployed?

We will be adding relevant shared learning examples to this toolkit that will help inform you of what employers across the NHS are doing in regard to deploying pay flexibilities and other strategic reward examples to assist you in this.

Total Reward Statements were introduced in the NHS in 2014 by NHS Business Services Authority in partnership with the NHS Electronic Staff Record Programme. Total Reward Statements are an annual statement designed to give staff a clear view of their total reward package. As an employer, you can use Total Reward Statements to show the worth of local rewards you offer on top of pay and pensions. You can find out more on our Total Reward Statements web page. 

Additionally reviewing the political and legal context to examine if there are any legal changes likely to affect your rewards and employment package will be relevant. Recent examples of these include pensions automatic enrolment and changes to tax-free childcare

Reviewing the data

There are a number of ways of analysing and making sense of the wealth of information you have collated. This example outlines an approach that a public sector body used to gather information from a range of external resources, such as market research, pay and pay practice surveys, consultancy information and so on. They also carried out a desk-top review of current policies and practices, and looked at their staff survey results. The chart then illustrates how they compared against each area of reward, their internal practice and market practices and trends, to highlight key similarities and differences.

The next stage in the preparation and planning process is to identify your reward principles, goals and success measures.


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