Pay Adjustment and Reward Strategies Management: A Case Study of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Pay Level Survey (the Survey) conducted between 1995 and 2018 (and extended to Mainland China in 1996 and Macau in 2008) has directly informed the annual pay adjustment and reward strategy decisions of organisations in Hong Kong, influenced the practice of reward management, contributed to the improved effectiveness of organisational practices and best practices for human resource management in the market.
To ensure that the questionnaire and substantive analysis were rigorous and up to date, researchers a) conducted extensive reviews of materials from both academics and practitioners; b) added questions on topical and research issues drawn from their research agenda; and c) worked closely with an advisory committee, composed of senior practitioners and leaders from the human resources (HR) sector. Data from rounds of the Survey, along with cumulative datasets, were used to conduct both primary and secondary analysis.
Information and data obtained through the Survey over the years have been used by researchers and academics to formulate their research direction and projects in various areas, such as reward policy, pay equity, wage determination, pay satisfaction, money ethics and monetary intelligence. For example, it was found that social and cultural backgrounds have significant effects on employee retention and motivation. Extending the data to the macro level, research studies conducted by the team have investigated “pay satisfaction”, “love of money” and “money ethics” in Hong Kong as compared to other countries or geopolitical regions. As indicated by the ever-rising number of participating companies each year, total employees affected and benchmark jobs surveyed, the Survey has become a widely recognised reference point in making decisions on annual pay adjustments. In 2019, a giant leap forward was taken to optimise the Survey, with the South China University of Technology (SCUT), Hong Kong People Management Association (HKPMA) and the Centre for Human Resources Strategy & Development of HKBU joining hands to conduct the “Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (9+2) Pay and Benefits Survey”.
The impact goes beyond informing annual pay adjustments to include helping promote an understanding of remuneration concepts amongst practitioners, strengthening compensation and benefit practices, facilitating advocacy of family-friendly employment practices, and shaping organisational pay and benefits and wider strategies. In addition, besides contributions to business practitioners on rewards and related HR matters, the researchers have organised regular public forums and seminars to promote how pay practices have an indirect impact on various public policies such as the minimum wage, working hours and MPF offsetting mechanisms.
- Tang, Thomas LP & Randy Chiu. “Income, money ethic, pay satisfaction, commitment, and unethical behavior: Is the love of money evil for Hong Kong employees?” Journal of Business Ethics 46(1) (2003): 13-30.
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