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Provide an equitable living wage to all workers and ensure fair compensation practices.

Strategies and Actions

Provide all employees an equitable living wage.

  • Pay no less than an indexed, regionally defined living wage. Use tools like the Living Wage Calculator.
  • Regularly assess and publish your pay, segmented by meaningful demographics.
  • Assess and determine actions to reduce pay inequities by gender and race. For example, do not seek or rely on an applicant’s salary history to screen, hire, or set compensation.

Ensure that compensation practices are equitable and transparent.

  • Publish and regularly update all career paths and their pay. Clearly state required skills and competencies, and ensure that managers apply them.
  • Advertise pay ranges for positions.
  • Conduct pay-equity analysis by gender, ethnicity, and race and report on results transparently.
  • Evaluate all practices that impact compensation, including bonuses, premium pay, overtime, and scheduling, to ensure that those practices are utilized in an equitable and transparent manner.

Demonstrate fairness and recognition by compensating workers for improving performance.

  • Demonstrate fairness and recognition by increasing worker wages based on objective measures of performance improvement.
  • Transparently link part of employee compensation to organizational and/or team performance, such as offering an annual bonus based on organization or team financial performance.

Job Quality Baldrige Style

See how Baldrige Award recipients demonstrate many of the strategies and actions recommended in the Job Quality Toolkit.


  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created March 31, 2023, Updated April 12, 2023