Benefits

Compensation into the New Year

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“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.
Oscar Wilde

When looking at those factors which drive employee satisfaction, retention, engagement, etcetera, the usual suspects seem to always make the list though they tend to trade positions with one another with regular frequency.  I certainly want to thank the Society for Human Resource Management, Towers Watson, SAP, and others like them for keeping us apprised of when they do.  As the economy has begun to slowly improve, the deck is beginning to again shuffle a bit.

This is where I would like to agree to disagree with Oscar Wilde.  Base pay cannot be ignored and I’d be remiss to tell you otherwise.  However, while base pay still makes the list and may enjoy more prominence now than it has in recent years, an organization’s broad view of compensation will be more beneficial than fighting its way to a position of paying employees in the 90th percentile.

First, you’ll still need to at least stay competitive monetarily.  Know what your market bears and do your best to keep pace.  More importantly, be creative with other pieces of the compensation puzzle when you can’t pay in the 90th percentile AND realize paying in the 90th percentile doesn’t buy loyalty.

Employees more now than ever desire work-life balance to an extent more than offered previously.  They seek good working relationships with colleagues and their supervisor.  Employees want learning and career development opportunities.  The most cost-effective measure your organization can take is ensuring managers are properly trained to manage both employees and the organization’s goals and values.