Building A Building.
We own a block of land at East Burwood. It will take a few months for all the paperwork to be completed with the local government, but otherwise, it's ours.
I have a strong sense that God has lead us to this place. His revelation through the search experience, and even the prophecy of others, confirms this.
Our next task is to design and build a building that creates an appropriate working environment for World Vision people. A place that honours God as a tool for effective service.
Many of you will be involved in sharing ideas about this new building. Some of you will be asked to talk to the architects we have engaged, Lawrence Harkin & Ziersch.
To help our thinking, HRD with our project managers, Burns Bridge, are preparing a locality map. This will be available to all staff within a week or two. It will show transport, shops, child minding, sporting facilities, and other items of interest in the area near our East Burwood site.
As we have begun to think about what kind of building we should erect, the Property Team and the Executive Team have agreed with things like this:
Low key image, but worthy of Australia's major international development aid agency. Nestling into the hillside. Trees around. Not a jarring glass box. No strong colours. No radical angles. Relatively conservative, elegant. In harmony with surroundings. An honest statement of stewardship, function and image. It shouldn't shout "World Vision."
Interesting as you drive by. Two storeys. Environmentally friendly. Energy efficient.
The inside should be airy and light. Open. We should be able to see one another easily. Quiet, integrated, flowing. Efficient circulation. Relate well to outdoor spaces (patios/gardens). Canteen as a rewarding area for staff to meet and fellowship. Reuse CoDesign. Internal landscaping to create softness.
We hope to have our plans ready by October this year. The earliest we shall be able to move will be 1993.
Did We Get A Pay Rise Last Week, Or what?
Were you confused by the Wage Case Decision last week?
Or didn't you notice?
I haven't worked out yet what it is supposed to mean exactly. And apparently the Australian Council of Trade Unions could not digest it.
Whatever it means, I thought it would be timely to remind you how we go about salary reviews here at World Vision (and when you can hope for the next pay rise).
The answer is December.
World Vision reviews salaries once a year in December.
At that time we take into account a number of things. Among these are changes in job size since the last review, individual performance, and movements in salaries in the world outside of World Vision.
To work out job size we have (surprise, surprise) a job sizing tool. The first time I asked Anne-Marie to show me her job sizing tool I half expected to see something like an electric drill with a set of measuring callipers attached. In fact, it is rather more harmless -- a simple list of questions, and a scoring sheet.
Performance is assessed through the appraisal system.
Salary movements in the world outside are revealed in a salary survey to which we subscribe. It compares jobs we do in World Vision, with similar jobs in similar size organisations in the rest of Australia. It tells us what range of salaries is being paid for each of these jobs. Our starting point is the first quartile -- the level at which ¾ of the people in the survey are paid more, and ¼ are paid less. [For the mathematically minded, see below].
The salary survey takes into account all the things that affect salaries during the year. National Wages Cases. Cost of Living changes. Changes in supply and demand for certain kinds of job skills.
The result is that almost everyone at World Vision who would otherwise be on an award rate is actually paid over the award. But maybe less than some other outsiders who are getting substantially over the award. A few temporary or new staff are paid award rates.
Of course, if, after we have set salaries in December, an award rate is increased so much that World Vision would be paying less than the award, naturally we would bring our levels up to the award. I cannot remember such a situation occurring in recent years. World Vision has always been ahead of the award rates.
What's The Lower Quartile?
This is an important concept for World Vision because it is our way of balancing two of our core values -- We value people and We are stewards.
Because we value people, we want to make sure that our salaries are fair and just. World Vision should not pay bottom dollars. "The worker deserves wages," according to Luke 10:7. We express this value by comparing all salaries at World Vision with the outside work place through independent salary surveys.
Because we are stewards, we want to have a conservative policy on wages. World Vision should not pay top dollars. Thus, our reference point is the first quartile.
If we were to graph salaries for 1,000 people all doing the same kind of job. We would find something like 6 people getting $50,000, 30 getting $40,000, 60 getting $30,000 - the most common salary paid - 40 getting $20,000, and 25 perhaps getting $15,000.
The salaries of the 1,000 people would be spread out over the range with a lot in the middle, and fewer at each end of the range. This kind of graph is called a probability distribution.
If we worked through from the lower end until we had counted ¼ of the people (250 in this case), we would be at the point of the lower quartile. Probably in the example I have invented this would be a salary of about $24,000.
If all the foregoing sounds too much like the maths you preferred to leave behind at High School, don't worry. It's all worked out accurately for us, so that we get our salary reviews right, once a year.