Compensation Café

The Tom Sawyer Approach to Equity Compensation

Most of us have read Mark Twain’s classic “Tom Sawyer” at some point in our lives. At one point Tom is punished and told to whitewash the fence at his Aunt Polly’s place. It was hard and boring work, but Tom was an entrepreneur with a great knack for marketing. When approached by a friend... Read More

Cafe Classic: Is it Safe to Incent Safety?

Editor's Note:  Are incentives equally applicable to -- and appropriate for -- all areas of human endeavor?  In considering this Classic question, we take up the case of safety incentives. A few years ago, I came across an interesting article in Incentive Magazine about safety incentives... Read More

Zooming In On The Data

The use of exit interviews and engagement surveys can shed light from an employee's perspective on several factors tied to their sense of value and attachment to an organization.  For most rewards professionals’ data collection, the analysis and outcome statistics drive us to find solutions... Read More

Are You Watching the Store?

The pending start of a new business year brings with it both the end and the beginning of the company’s annual management incentive plan cycle.  While the left hand is busy processing performance assessments and award payouts the right hand is getting ready to launch the new cycle.  However, in... Read More

Compensation Force

Thinking of Your Reward Programs as an Investment Portfolio

We in the profession like to use the acronym ROI (Return on Investment) in talking about the efficacy of our reward programs.  To really put this concept (and those reward dollars) to work, I find it helpful to look at total rewards as a portfolio.  Like the elements of a sound investment... Read More

Line of Sight: Is it About Reward Design or Good Management?

Compensation professionals love to throw around the phrase "line of sight", particularly with respect to incentive pay design.  What do we mean when we use it in regard to rewards? And are we using it correctly in understanding reward effectiveness? Line of sight is an expression with... Read More

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