The Intent to Incent is Our Sun

Compensation Cafe

Incentive plans are one of the most complex aspects of pay and rewards. All of these simply orbit around the most important element of any effective incentive plan. A well-defined intent serves as the theme of every communication.

The Real Cost of Mismanaged Incentives: Wells Fargo

Compensation Cafe

Well, so much for the warm-hearted caffeinated, pick-me-up from the Comp Café. Today is a steaming jolt of quadruple espresso in response to the Wells Fargo incentive pay mess. I answered that if I had been asked a few weeks ago, Wells Fargo would have been on the list.

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Incentives and The Rule of Three

Compensation Cafe

Designing an effective incentive plan is always a challenge. Over many years I have come to rely on what I call the Incentive Plan Rule of Three. No more than three metrics (KPI), no more than three defined goal levels, no more than three incentive plans for any one individual.

Learning Corner with Jeffrey Pfeffer: Less Is Better Than More When it Comes to Incentives

Cornerstone On Demand

Zimmer commented on a bonus program I had written about where each store employee (except the store manager) would receive $20 if the store met its “good" sales target for the month, and $40 if it met its “excellent" sales goal. Incentives are a poor substitute.

Incentive Plans Work Too Well (here’s the trick)

Compensation Cafe

It's not that incentive plans don't work well, it's that they can work too well in motivating unintended consequences. Are any incentive compensation experts shocked by this? The failed Wells Fargo incentive plan and Tax Reform are similar.

6 Ways Incentive Plans are Like COVID-19 Planning

Compensation Cafe

Comparing incentive plans to a pandemic response seems like a stretch, but great incentive plans are all about stretching. The weeks inside have given me the time to realize the lessons a pandemic team can learn from the perspective of incentive plan design and execution.

5 Lessons from Glittery Smelly Incentive Plan Mistakes

Compensation Cafe

It turns out that incentive compensation doesn’t just work, it can work too well at motivating the wrong behaviors. Make sure you design your incentive plan to reduce the possibility and rewards for cheating. Incentive plans are difficult to get perfect.

Long-Term Incentives for a Short Term Generation

Compensation Cafe

Second, this means that the majority of these workers do not intend to benefit from the entirety of their Long-Term Incentives (LTI). Designing LTI to attract, motivate and retain the “next” generation: Opportunity 1: Consider “Mid-Term Incentives” that link to Long-Term Incentives.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: An Incentive Compensation Story

Compensation Cafe

Not the least of them was the creation, design and management of the company’s long-term incentive program. She planned her year well and executed with the precision of a heart surgeon. She also combined all of these skills to build and manage her incentive compensation plans.

Incentive Pay is Like a Par 4 Golf Hole

Compensation Cafe

The practiced CEO performed well and graciously accepted that there are times when second place is just fine. Joe did well and used some of his winnings to pay for a set of lessons for Kathy.

5 Reasons to Design Your Incentives Like IKEA Furniture

Compensation Cafe

Use their methods for building your incentive plans. Your incentive plan should be designed to ensure even the unexpected isn’t a surprise. When you build an incentive plan, take the time to customize the tools for planning, modeling and tracking progress. All of the familiarity, ease, and well-thought-out designs would be pointless if the final product sucked. Make sure your incentive plan delivers on its promise.

Cafe Classic: Is Your Incentive Plan a Strategy Killer?

Compensation Cafe

Editor's Note: Do your incentive plans make the right decisions seem wrong and discourage the choices most critical to your organization's future? Are your incentive plans designed to support or defeat your organization's business strategy?

Get Your Office Involved: Holiday Giving + New Year Incentives

Kazoo

Here at Kazoo, we’re able to earn points through Behavior Bonuses when we donate any item during the month of December. Kazoo has some great choices directly within our store, or you can simply incentivize your employees to donate points with a Give Back Bonus.

Get Your Office Involved: Holiday Giving + New Year Incentives

Kazoo

Here at Kazoo, we’re able to earn points through Behavior Bonuses when we donate any item during the month of December. Kazoo has some great choices directly within our store, or you can simply incentivize your employees to donate points with a Give Back Bonus.

17 Words About Incentive Pay

Compensation Cafe

The 17 words listed align incredibly well with common incentive plan designs. A quick review of incentive pay basics. The following seem to align well with Minimum levels of achievement: Almost Certainly. That leaves three that don’t fit our normal incentive models.

Go Team – And Me Too! Incentives for All

Symbolist

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of negative press about incentives. Specifically that incentives don’t work, they are a hangover from “motivation 1.0” Incentives do a great job of focusing attention, focusing behavior and signaling what we think is valuable.

Employee Incentive Programs for Sales Motivation

Kazoo

It can be challenging trying to find an effective employee incentive program that continually motivates your sales team. There’s a common misconception that employee incentive programs have to be complex or costly. Companies come to us all the time with a similar problem: they are over-spending on their rewards budget with expensive sales incentives and spiffs. Now multiply that by a team of 100 employees and you have yourself a pricey incentive program!

Double the Incentive – Reduce the Impact

Symbolist

I am a fan of incentives. I’ve on record defending them when the book Drive came out 8 years ago and basically tried to shunt them into the dust bin of management and motivation ideas. Incentives are great when seeking to break behavioral inertia. Incentives are very powerful.

5 Pay Predictions Post-COVID

Compensation Cafe

If normal worked so well pay would not be a constant thorn in the side of companies and their employees. There will be a rethinking of the concept of “long-term” incentive plans. Incentive plans will respect this value in both design and potential value.

Cafe Classic: Discretion and Disempowerment

Compensation Cafe

Editor's Note: With the business and economic uncertainty brought to us by the pandemic, many organizations have (appropriately) introduced or increased the role of management discretion in their incentive plans and other reward programs. Incentives/Bonuses Pay for Performance Total Rewards

59 Awesome Employee Engagement Ideas & Activities for 2018 (Plus 10 New Bonus Ideas)

SnackNation

59 Awesome Employee Engagement Ideas & Activities for 2018 (Plus 10 New Bonus Ideas). Free bonus: Download this entire list as a PDF. Includes 5 bonus ideas not found in this post. Get your health and wellness program in order. Here are 10 bonus ideas!

Time for a Termite Inspection!

Compensation Cafe

It was maintained well over the years but, like all old homes, it needs regular maintenance. Maybe it's a well-written compensation philosophy or handbook, but no real foundation or structure to support the pretty documents. Maybe your pay programs are not flexing well to remote work.

Here's Why Cash Bonuses Don't Work for Referrals

Entelo

The value of the employee referrals hiring channel is old hat in the recruiting world, with some companies going as far as offering exorbitant bonuses in exchange for access to their employees' networks. What seems to be the issue with cash bonuses for referrals?

16 Workplace Wellness Challenge Ideas to Try at the Office

Rise

Companies could all be better for focusing on their people’s personal health and wellness. Workplace wellness challenges are a great way to encourage healthy living amongst employees. We’ve compiled a list of 16 workplace wellness challenge ideas to get you started.

The Time is Now. Compensation Pros Must Rise to the Challenge.

Compensation Cafe

Most of us thought summer vacation would be a long three-months, but here we are experiencing some weird version of a six-month vacation, and we're mostly surviving it pretty well. Do your incentive plans promote the decisions, behaviors, and actions that truly define your success?

Punished By (Poorly Conceived) Rewards

Compensation Force

While it will be clear from what follows that I take issue with a number of things he says, I do believe that Alfie Kohn's book Pun ished by Rewards is a must read for reward professionals. The success of Bob Sutton's book The No A **e Rule would suggest that most of us finally get this.

Planning for an Equity Compensation Pandemic

Compensation Cafe

I hope this post finds you well and with three gallons of hand sanitizer stocked up in your pantry. Each time a potential pandemic raises its head we work to ensure that those we care about will be well in every possible scenario.

Cafe Classic: Want Results? Prove It!

Compensation Cafe

Most compensation professionals I know are very earnest in their desire to pay people as well as possible. Who cares if it looks great, it might as well be made out of wax like the restaurant displays in Japan.

Equity Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker?

Compensation Cafe

Equity compensation can be trickier than many in our “set it and forget it” society look for in an incentive tool. Executed well the results are sublime. Pressure cookers usually work well in your kitchen or even camping.

Cafe Classic: The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Compensation Professionals

Compensation Cafe

Editor's Note: A well-timed Classic post from Dan Walter on how to do your job when your plans no longer fit the reality of what you're facing. An effective approach after losing the first round of discussions is to find the most important (or well-received) nugget in your “big plan”.

Are You Paying for Peripheral Vision?

Compensation Cafe

We seem to love to get granular with incentive plans. So many compensation professionals are tasked with not missing anything, they include darn near everything in their incentive plans. It is not a great evolutionary trait in incentive plans.

coworker bogarts all the food at work events, asking for a bonus when resigning, and more

Ask a Manager

Can I ask for a bonus when I’m resigning after being underpaid for two years? Is there a case I can make for some kind of parting bonus? Bonuses are generally used as a way to retain good employees. Because you’re leaving, they have no incentive to give you a bonus on your way out. I make a lot of purchases for our office, as well as help book travel for people. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go….

Compensation Dentistry (part 1)

Compensation Cafe

Annual and long-term incentive plans are often not as well cared for. Just like the fact that most kids don’t grow up wishing to be a dentist, few compensation professionals aspire to be mavens of incentive plans. Yes, incentive plans can be harder than base pay.

Equity Compensation is Like The Iditarod

Compensation Cafe

I hope everyone reading this is well. Like a well-designed equity compensation plan, The Iditarod is long and not for the faint of heart. The teams that do this well have a lower chance of injuring or exhausting their dogs.

Cafe Classic: Putting on Your Explorer Cap via Appreciative Inquiry for the Compensation Pro

Compensation Cafe

Several people recommended AI and I decided to give it a try, to the tune of an all-day workshop, several articles and a book purchase. At its essence, AI is an approach that focuses on discovering what an organization does well and then looking for ways to do more of that.