What’s the Fuss Over Colorado’s New Equal Pay for Equal Work Act?

Check out our newest blog for our take on shifting focus to the impact this act will have on long-term hiring trends and employee expectations.

On January 1, 2021, Colorado’s new Equal Pay for Equal Work Act went into effect, requiring all entities with at least one employee in Colorado to provide formal notice of “promotional opportunities” and disclose pay rates or ranges in job postings for jobs that will be or could be worked in Colorado (including remote openings).

The purpose of the act is to prevent pay disparities and increase pay equity and transparency. Despite noble intentions, the act kicked up quite a bit of dust, forcing companies to give up their hand during employee negotiations, reassess recruiting practices, and update internal procedures for promoting employees or processing internal position changes.

As a result, many big-name organizations, including Airbnb, Cardinal Health, Century 21, and many more, have posted job listings that explicitly state details such as “remote work available, except for in Colorado” to avoid having to share salary information.

Here’s a complete list: https://www.coloradoexcluded.com/

Leaders Are Missing The Point

When negotiating the terms and salary of a position, applicants and potential employers enter into a brief adversarial relationship. Naturally, both parties want to get the best deal possible and use whatever leverage they have to do so. A considerable portion of that leverage is information, hence the fuss over companies having to enter negotiations with all of their cards face-up on the table.

Low-balling someone’s value is never a good idea. Neither is paying every employee their maximum value, which leaves zero room for error, adding stress to the role and making expectations higher than what is reasonable. The solution isn’t for employers to win the better part of the employment deal at all. It’s to create the right deal that equally benefits employees and the organization at large. In other words, adding value to a position in other creative ways and making the job about so much more than a paycheck.

Instead of fixating on Colorado’s new legislation and how to maneuver around it, organizational leaders should focus on the impact that this act will have on long-term hiring trends and employee expectations.

Rather than fight the renaissance, employers should rethink their employee benefits program, company culture, and career development opportunities.

The Great Resignation

If there’s one silver lining to COVID-19, it’s how the pandemic made people reevaluate what’s important in life and what truly makes them happy, particularly on the job front. Furthermore, waiting out a pandemic during the largest unemployment episode since the Great Depression made workers keenly aware of their value and marketability. Earlier this year, CNBC reported on an American Worker survey conducted by Prudential Financial. At the time of the survey (March 2021), 1 in 4 employees was considering quitting their job after the pandemic. Of those planning to jump ship:

  • 80% were motivated by concerns about their career advancement.
  • 72% said the pandemic caused them to rethink their skill sets.

Achievers’ 2021 Engagement and Retention Report also found that more than half of employees (52%) plan to leave their jobs this year, citing the desire for better employee benefits as one of the top reasons why. We’re talking about millions of workers leaving or planning to leave their employers in search of better opportunity — an unprecedented event experts are calling “The Great Resignation”.

In essence, the pandemic spurred employees to start rocking themselves out of career ruts. If employers want to keep top talent, they need to create more pathways for career advancement, more opportunities for employees to develop new skills (particularly IT skills), and more work flexibility that allows employees to integrate careers with all other aspects of life.

Internal Training Academies – The New Wellness Program?

Wellness programs were a relatively new concept back in the early 2000s. Over the years, their marked value and effectiveness at improving employee health and company culture turned wellness programming into a staple of most employee benefits programs today. In the years to come, we’re going to see a similar trend gain traction, but, this time, it’s building internal training academies that provide IT skills training for upskilling and reskilling employees.

Internal training academies not only represent the most effective solution for closing the IT skills gap; they also address new and emerging employee expectations for career development and growth. Like wellness programs, there are several options for how organizations will implement training academies, including bootcamp-style delivery models. However, the most practical and (surprisingly) affordable approach is to partner with a technical education provider that can help you custom build and deploy a proprietary internal program designed to meet the exact specifications of your workforce, business goals, and current skill sets.

To learn more about what it takes to launch an internal training academy for IT upskilling, reskilling, and employee development, download our Essential IT Skills Training Program Planner.

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with the connections, resources, and practical experience to help you execute all aspects of a world-class IT skills training program.