RDBA Salary Survey:  What Action Should you Take?

RDBA Salary Survey: What Action Should you Take?

February 4, 2015
Career Development

By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Today, the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance released the first ever salary survey specific to retail dietitians. Results of the survey were presented on a webinar and the full report is available here in the RDBA Member Center. Now that you’ve seen the survey, here are some suggestions on how to use the data:

  1. Spend some time in the data, considering all aspects of the results. As the survey shows, retail RD salaries vary greatly, and especially at the Corporate level, the responsibilities of the position span a broad range. All these factors have to be considered when looking at your individual compensation and how it compares to the survey data. Don’t forget to consider compensation satisfaction and how you answered this question when you took the survey.
  2. Since many retail RD positions are new, it may be appropriate to ask yourself these questions before taking any action with the survey information:
    1. Do you have a current and accurate job description in place with human resources? 
    2. Do you know the salary range for your position and how it was created? 

If not, this may be a good place to start. Refer to the Hiring, Leveraging, and Empowering Retail Dietitians that RDBA developed in partnership with FMI for example job descriptions for various positions and then layer on the appropriate salary ranges for the accountabilities. 

  1. While your initial reaction may be to immediately send the survey results to your manager and human resources departments, be strategic in your approach to sharing the information with others. If you have a review coming up in the next several months, this would be an appropriate time to leverage the data to negotiate a fair salary or other benefits, to discuss your overall salary range, or to gain insight into what it will take to move to a higher responsibility level to garner a higher salary.
  2. Human resource departments often struggle to find comparative data when establishing salary paygrades and ranges for retail dietitians. The RDBA Salary Survey results can be a powerful tool for them in ensuring retail dietitians are positioned correctly within the organization’s structure of paygrades and other benefits that comprise the total compensation package. If you manage a team of dietitians, it will be important to leverage the data to ensure your RDs receive competitive salaries and benefits in order to retain their skills and talents within your organization.
  3. If you work within a team of dietitians who have similar responsibilities to you, it may be most effective to come together as a team to ensure pay grades and benefits like bonus, stock options, reimbursement for cell phones and other technology items are competitive. While you don’t want to share individual data, presenting a unified recommendation to your manager shows a high level of professionalism. 
  4. If you feel your pay range requires an adjustment, the data in the salary survey can be very useful for presenting a business case for change. When presenting the data to your manager and/or human resource department, be sure to include your recommendation. Is it an increase in the pay range for your company’s dietitians? Is it an immediate addition of bonuses for the team? Include timing in your recommendation, and be willing to take a step approach with increases made over 6- or 12-month time frames.
  5. If you are interviewing for a retail RD position, this data can be very beneficial. It will be important to negotiate the additional compensation benefits into your package as these are much more common in the retail dietetics field than other RD roles.
  6. Partner with human resources to ensure they have a clear list of the dietitian responsibilities within your company as well as the span of influence of the RD role. Again, if you do not have a job profile on file this may be the time to create one and coordinate with the recommended pay range and benefits. Seek to understand how these responsibilities compare to those of comparative positions within the company and what steps can be taken to ensure the RD compensation is comparable to these other roles.

The Retail Dietitians Business Alliance is committed to supporting the dietitian in light of the impactful role they can play in public health and on the retailer’s business. Strategic use of the RDBA Salary Survey results can continue to drive the success and importance of the retail RD role.

The next RDBA Salary Survey will be conducted in 2016 and will address gaps in the current survey (such as budget responsibility of retail RDs) and ensure alignment with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Salary Survey.