Compensation Café

Incentives and The Rule of Three

Designing an effective incentive plan is always a challenge. There are many moving parts and assumptions. There are the “big” things you want or need people to accomplish and the smaller things that simply cannot be ignored. There is the math behind the modeling and payout expectations. (Yep,... Read More

3 Ways to Encourage a Happier, Healthier Workforce

Each of us is given one life. What do we seek out of it? Is a meaningful life most important? Or is a happy one? That’s a debate for another post (and one that’s been the subject of much research over the years). Setting that discussion aside, if we were to focus on happiness, what is it that... Read More

What Makes Someone an Executive?

Editor's Note: Today's post comes to us courtesy of guest contributor Joe Thompson. I was recently at a meeting at the White House Complex where I listened to a senior Federal executive bemoan Federal executive compensation.  He adamantly insisted that executives in the private-sector... Read More

An Evaluation of Job Evaluation

Job Evaluation:  an assessment of job tasks and responsibilities to create a top-to-bottom hierarchy reflective of the relative value that the company places upon its jobs. Throughout my Compensation career, I have never enjoyed having to evaluate jobs.  Quite the opposite.  As soon as my... Read More

Here's How HR Can Influence Your Company's Bottom Line

When will the C-suite welcome HR as a strategic partner? Be careful, that question may be growing obsolete. Now that HR data is being used predictively, there are validated insights into how our profession can perform more effectively. Just last month, McKinsey & Company, worldwide consulting... Read More

Compensation Force

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

Are Salary Ranges Still Relevant?

Our salary ranges are not serving us as well as they once may have.  We know it.  Unhappily, most employees know it, too.  The traditional salary range model, which is meant to convey the essence of the pay deal we offer employees, can be a challenging fit to today's reality. The salary... Read More

Your Pay Program Has a Big Mouth!

You have a not-so-silent partner in your compensation communication efforts. That partner? Your pay program itself. That's because compensation itself is a powerful communication tool.  In fact, everything we do in compensation is communication, so it's critical that we consider the... Read More

Incentive Plan Success? Think Big Picture, Act Small Picture!

Incentives remain one of the most powerful, and yet also one of the most misapplied, management tools out there.  While research has shown that group incentives can deliver significant return on investment (CARS research showed a median plan ROI of 134% - or $2.34 for every $1.00 in payout),... Read More