Compensation Café

Tips for Handling Promotion Requests

This time of year, we give managers a range of communication tools to help with pay and performance management discussions. An often overlooked topic is how to talk with an employee who is requesting a promotion. There's a lot at stake when employees ask about promotions. The experience makes... Read More

Cafe Classic: Pay is a Leaker

Editor's Note:  Herzberg's theory of motivation, often referred to as the two-factor theory, holds that pay is a "hygiene factor," necessary to avoid dissatisfaction but not something that by itself will provide satisfaction.  In today's Classic, Jim Brennan provides a... Read More

Do You Own or Rent Your Compensation Programs?

The above may seem like an odd question, but in my experience, there are some organizations who seem comfortable in “passing the buck” to consultants and commercial compensation surveys to make their reward decisions for them. As a consultant myself I’ve worked with organizations who... Read More

Compensation Force

Rising Wages and Salary Compression: Squeeze Alert!

I met recently with the leaders of a regional manufacturer's association to discuss what is on the minds of their members these days.  Two things: hiring and salary compression. What does the phrase "salary compression" mean, what causes it to happen and what's to be done about... Read More

Are You Using Pay as a People Manager?

You've witnessed this yourself, I expect, dear reader.  There is no keener disappointment, it often seems, than when managers discover they can no longer rely on a compensation program to manage their people for them.  Try taking away an incentive plan, however ineffective or dysfunctional,... Read More

Triggers and Hurdles and Cliffs, Oh My!

To be clear, I'm talking about pay plan mechanics and in particular about the kind of cliff that plays an unfortunate starring role in many pay programs.  Specifically, the incentive plan with the all-or-none (or nearly so) singular award hurdle, often set against prior year performance, that... Read More

Best of the Force: The Limits of Feedback and Appreciation

Providing employees with specific information on their productivity is one no-to-low-cost way to drive improvements in their performance.  A recent Harvard Business Review Daily Stat (To Boost Workers' Productivity, Tell Them How They Rank) reminds us of this reality, via the story of a... Read More

Beware the Cliff!

To be clear, I'm talking about the kind of cliff that plays an unfortunate starring role in many reward programs; the incentive plan with the all-or-none (or nearly so) singular award hurdle, very often set against prior year performance.  The one that can essentially shut down any hope of... Read More