The NRH would like to welcome one of our newest Associate Members, Jennifer C. Loftus, National Director at Astron Solutions. We sat down with Jennifer to find out more about her, her company, and how she helps serve the nonprofit industry.
NRH: Tell us about Astron Solutions and the services it provides.
JL: Founded in 1999, Astron Solutions is a New York City-based consulting firm dedicated to the delivery of human resources consulting services and supportive technology. Astron’s focus is to develop and implement human resources programs that support the strategic direction of organizations through the creation of a positive employee relations environment.
Throughout our 22 years of consulting under the Astron brand, our focus has been on the design and implementation of programs that impact an organization’s two most important human resources concerns: rising human resources costs and retaining qualified staff. Astron’s consulting services focus on the areas of total cash compensation, employee surveys, reward & recognition, performance management, and employee communication. In addition, Astron Solutions offers organizations a complete, customized human resources package including advice, innovative program design, and user-friendly cloud-based software through our proprietary technology suite, Flare®.
The majority of our clients are non-profit organizations including healthcare, education, services, public sector, long-term care, and associations. Astron Solutions has primarily served these types of organizations since our founding. We are sensitive to this demographic’s unique fiscal and regulatory concerns, and develop Human Resource programs that address these specific needs.
Additionally, the majority of our clients are small- and mid-sized. We understand the difficulties organizations of these sizes may have recruiting and retaining employees when competing with larger organizations. We partner with our clients to understand their specific situations and develop final products that enable them to successfully recruit, retain, and motivate their most valuable asset – their people.
NRH: Can you tell us a little about your role at Astron Solutions?
JL: I am one of the Founding Partners of and a National Director for Astron Solutions. Each day is different for me! I spend a good amount of my time working directly with clients on market analyses, compensation strategies, and compensation system implementation plans. I also work with Boards of Directors on nonprofit Executive Compensation analyses related to the IRS Intermediate Sanctions. When I’m not working directly on client engagements, I focus on business development activities, including speaking engagements at conferences across the country. My role also entails oversight of internal support activities, including Human Resources and Finance.
NRH: Can you tell us a little about your team at Astron Solutions?
JL: With over a century of consulting and HR experience, our team is well versed in the nuances of compensation and HR technology. While everyone works out of our New York City office, we come from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. Our team is diverse on multiple dimensions, underscoring our commitment to reflecting the reality of the clients we serve. We’re currently growing our team as well! Because of the strong demand for the services we provide, we will be adding one or two new team members in the coming weeks. You can learn more about our core team at https://astronsolutions.net/corporate-team/.
NRH: What is Astron Solutions’ motto?
JL: Unique. Affordable. Friendly. Our compensation solutions are uniquely tailored to each client, to reflect and support their specific needs, culture, strategy, and employee population. Our fees are affordable for even the smallest nonprofits, providing value many times over. In addition, we operate under a flat-fee billing model – no hourly charges or expenses here! Individually and collectively, we are a friendly group. We love what we do, and that joy permeates each of our client engagements. We create a supportive environment for our clients, one where they can comfortably ask questions and learn from the consulting experience.
NRH: Jennifer, can you tell us what the three most important things are when determining an employee’s salary?
JL: Absolutely! First, what is your organization’s total rewards philosophy? Knowing your relevant labor market is critical when making salary determinations. That relevant labor market may include specific types of organizations, geographic region(s), and organizational sizes. Compensation can vary greatly across all these factors. Second, what does your organization value? Some organizations value performance, while others focus on education and/or experience. Still, others want to recognize employee tenure. Compensation is both art and science – your organization’s values as expressed through compensation focuses on the art, so make sure that art reflects who your organization is. And third, what impact does a salary change for this employee mean for others in the same job title, or others at the same level in the organization? Employees talk. Pay equity is a hot topic in today’s world. A salary adjustment for one employee should not create inequities for others.
NRH: What would you say is the key to a nonprofit organization’s success?
JL: The key to a nonprofit’s success is its employees. While it sounds clichéd, it’s true! Nonprofits distinguish themselves from their competition by the services they provide, the knowledge they bring, and the relationships they build. These all come from people. As such, it’s essential that employers treat their employees fairly and in a manner that supports positive employee relations. If employers don’t do these things, their employees will undoubtedly have little trouble finding work elsewhere.
NRH: What are the goals for Astron Solutions as you move forward into the future?
JL: Looking to 2022 and beyond, here at Astron we plan on continuing to grow our practice! Compensation has moved to the forefront of the national conversation thanks to initiatives such as minimum wage increases, the pay equity movement, and the social justice movement. We are excited to share our knowledge and expertise in compensation with organizations that want to position themselves for success in the coming months and years. We’re also exploring additional ways to give back to the HR profession and the nonprofit sector through new surveys, resources, and volunteer efforts.
Please add any other important information you would like to share including links to your blog posts, white papers, etc.
Blog link: https://astronsolutions.net/blog/
Link to subscribe to our blog: https://astronsolutions.net/subscribe/
Link to presentation library on our website: https://astronsolutions.net/presentations/
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