Compensation Café

Cafe Classic: Turtles Confirm that Incentive Pay Works!

Editor's Note:  We can find lessons on effective reward design in the most unusual places.  In this Classic post, Dan Walter shares insights gleaned by a successful incentive plan offered to ranchers in an area with a threatened turtle species! The discussion regarding the efficacy of... Read More

Are We Resilient?

Resilience is a term that's been kicked a lot around during Covid. It's become part of the conversation since we were sideswiped in the beginning of 2020. As the strategists at McKinsey point out: "2020 was a wake up call. To thrive in the coming decade, companies must develop... Read More

Are You Sure About That?

That's what a client asked me the other day.   The SVP of Human Resources was mulling over my market pricing report when he said, "These summary averages tell me how my pay practices compare against my competition, right?  And with these individual job comparisons, they tell me what... Read More

Cafe Classic: The Value Of the Value Proposition

Editor's Note:  We seem to have moved away from the notion of the "value proposition" in relation to our total rewards offerings.  In this Classic post, Chuck Csizmar examines the roots and value of that (outdated?) idea in understanding what we offer to employees in exchange for... Read More

The Thought Doesn’t Count

I often say that the most important aspect of any incentive plan is its intent. Intent drives the details of design. Intent sets the foundation for communications. Intent informs people of the definition of success. But intent without great execution will nearly always fail. In other words:... Read More

Compensation Force

Caveat Emptor: Not All Compensation Research is Created Equal

Research can be found everywhere and compelling research findings can make for profitable clickbait.  We in the HR space, however, would do well to become careful consumers of what is often presented as rewards and productivity research. One example would be an article with an attention-grabbing... Read More

Tripwires, Hurdles and Gates... Oh My!

On the plate today: an incentive plan design primer covering the topic of performance gates.   Performance gates (also referred to as "hurdles", "tripwires", "qualifiers" and "knockouts") can play an important role in incentive plan design. When an... Read More

Maya Angelou on What We Want From Work

Compensation wisdom and a terrific quote from none other than Maya Angelou! She says: Human beings are more alike than unalike.  Whether in Paris, Texas or Paris, France, we all want to have good jobs where we are needed and respected and paid just a little more than we deserve. I call this... Read More

The Power of Participation in Your Compensation Review

A recent conversation about management participation in a compensation review brought to mind a client project where we made a big bet on involving managers. I was engaged to conduct a review of the company's compensation and benefits practices.  Managers in one particular division had... Read More

The Potential for Incentive Perversity

Need more proof that carelessly designed incentives can do more harm than good?  Check out Wikipedia's list of perverse incentives.  Perverse incentives, by definition, are those that produce unintended negative consequences.  A few laughs and some solid food for thought. A couple of my... Read More