4 Tips for 2020 Career Development

Compensation Cafe

What happens when you disappear raises, slim down bonuses, freeze salaries and/or jack up benefit costs? Career development no longer has to share the total rewards spotlight, and it becomes the go-to form of employee recognition. Career development has a language of its own.

What Does a Bonus Mean?

Compensation Cafe

Can your employees tell the difference between a raise and a bonus? After all, we often don't make much of a communication effort when we award bonuses. When it comes to bonuses, the understood link with business results is often sketchy, too.


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Growing a Healthy Compensation Program -- Part Two

Compensation Cafe

We'll identify some of their missteps -- common to companies their size -- then discuss what they can do to achieve healthy compensation habits. Case background: In the first article , we looked at the compensation habits of a company called Healthy Gadgets, a new medical device company that began with fewer than 100 employees. Common compensation practices when a company is growing quickly to at least 500 employees. This is the second article in a series. "If

Should Employee Compensation Practitioners Care about the Economy?

Compensation Cafe

The Bay Area Compensation Association ( BACA ) is celebrating the holidays with a keynote speech previewing the 2018 economy. Taking a look around, many other compensation groups offer similar presentations on the economy during the year. It's clear what they offer to executive compensation practitioners, but if I'm into employee compensation or Total Rewards, why bother? As the economy goes, so goes your merit and bonus budget.

Overlooked Fundamentals of Compensation Strategy

Compensation Cafe

Not a great foundation for a compensation practice! salary increases and bonuses with flimsy links to everyday work, it's hard to engage people beyond job security unless you have career development alternatives to offer.

Cafe Classic: How is Compensation Like Dating

Compensation Cafe

Editor's Note: How is your compensation program's relationship with your employees going. In her Classic post, Margaret O'Hanlon shows us how to rethink this relationship by considering how employee compensation is a lot like dating.

Compensation Communications: Should I Say How I Feel?

Compensation Cafe

Many of our colleagues would say that compensation has nothing to do with feelings. On the other hand, feelings have a lot to do with compensation COMMUNICATIONS. Addressing feelings through compensation communications is tricky business.

Cafe Classic: The Truth About Great Compensation Design

Compensation Cafe

Today, we feature a Classic truth from Margaret O'Hanlon about what ultimately enables your compensation plans to achieve greatness. A few managers can become better at managing through coaching and development. Editor's Note: The truth hurts. and it can set you free!

Compensation Communications that Hit the Mark This Time

Compensation Cafe

What have data and analytics got to do with compensation communications? Imagine you had to tell the Compensation Committee that the company couldn't afford one of their proposals. Of course, there are new compensation practices to take into account as well.

Compensation Package: A Guide For HR

Digital HR Tech

Offering an appealing and generous compensation package is an important part of your employee value proposition. To stand out from other organizations, what should your compensation package include and how do you go about assembling one? Contents What is a compensation package?

Cafe Classic: Get Rich Quick!

Compensation Cafe

Data on these four topics could be immensely valuable in your daily discussions: Distribution of employees by defining variables like age, sex, length of service, employment status, bonus eligibility and so on. Also by variables that communicate compensation insights. Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP brings deep expertise to discussions on employee pay, performance management, career development and communications at the Café.

Don't Do That! Bad Habits and Compensation

Compensation Cafe

Everything we do in compensation is communications. Change management should be the foundation of 90% of compensation communications. New incentive coming up next year? Whether you're developing an implementation plan or a communication plan, it's crucial to start by defining the habits, understanding and attitudes that exist now and will just be plain wrong when you move into your new plan or new compensation year. Here are three basics of our work.

3 Ways to Improve This Year's Compensation Communications

Compensation Cafe

Here are three tips you can use any time during the year, but most of all during merit increase and incentive award periods. The compensation communication cycle takes many weeks -- too long to be disconnected from your audiences. Treat compensation as part of the business cycle. Compensation Cafe founder, Ann Bares, recently wrote a fabulous guide to developing a compensation philosophy that can help you obtain key insights by asking crucial questions.

Ready, Set, Go, Go, Go!!!

Compensation Cafe

Like every company back to the Cro-Magnon period, they are starting out by looking at compensation. You've got to start somewhere and insight into compensation provides the newbie with a staffing study, organizational chart, large portion of operating budget and so on. If everything we do in compensation is communication, what does the first paycheck say to these employees who you are relying on to get up to speed and deliver fast? Do I have a career here?

Looking for a Compensation Communications Template Anyone?

Compensation Cafe

Any day now you're going to need to get serious about planning compensation communications. I thought I'd give you a condensed version of how to organize communications for a calendar-year compensation plan. Planning for compensation communications can seem so rigid -- don't let that happen to you this year. Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP brings deep expertise to discussions on employee pay, performance management, career development and communications at the Café.

Does Incentive Compensation Really Motivate Employees?


This question has sparked debate among compensation professionals for years. Incentive compensation continues to work for many organizations, but does it truly motivate employees to contribute their best efforts? To understand whether incentives can truly drive performance, it’s important to understand the difference between extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation. Making Incentive Pay Work. One critically important aspect of incentive pay is communication.

Stop Wasting Money on Signing Bonuses: 3 Recruiting Incentives That Actually Work


Candidates may feel great about getting a 5–25% bonus check but having to sign a scary-sounding contract detailing what’s going to happen if they leave too soon feels icky. And if word gets out that signing bonuses were offered to some employees and not others? And what if you never needed to provide a bonus in the first place because the candidate would have accepted your offer no matter what? Incentive 2: A Complete, Holistic Understanding of Your Company’s Total Rewards.

Cafe Classic: A Few Things Economists Would Like Compensation to Know

Compensation Cafe

In this Classic post, Margaret O'Hanlon introduces us to a couple of "laws" touted in Economics that offer lessons we'd be wise to add to our compensation (and broader HR) toolkits! Incentives/Bonuses Pay for Performance Performance Management Sales Compensation

What Can the Novel Coronavirus Teach Us About Compensation Communication?

Compensation Cafe

If you're starting to see those building blocks through the haze, let's take a shot at a parallel compensation case story. Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP brings deep expertise to discussions on employee pay, performance management, career development and communications at the Café.

Help Managers with the Challenges of Video Calls

Compensation Cafe

This is no year for the same old compensation communications. Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP brings deep expertise to discussions on employee pay, performance management, career development and communications at the Café.

Why Compensation Doesn’t Drive Motivation


But will the incentive of a higher salary or compensation bonus improve their work performance? Financial incentives can undermine autonomy and intrinsic motivation Click To Tweet. While compensation is a factor in their employee experience, it doesn’t wield as much influence as you may think — a nuance especially important for companies using a pay for performance model. Compensation Isn’t Enough. Use Development as a Driver.

Why Communicate Now?

Compensation Cafe

Compensation departments often run on the "no news is good news" communications strategy, choosing to take the upper hand in their relationship with employees. Compensation departments just don't understand, or trust, the power of communications. Why communicate now?

Top 20 Examples of Employee Incentive Programs

Vantage Circle

Incentives are a proven way to influence employee behavior and ultimately improve business output. Now there are several types of employee incentive programs that companies commonly use. A study showed that travel incentives are the most popular incentives among employees.

Promotions, Bonuses, Raises, Recognition - When They Work (and When They Don't)

Compensation Cafe

You can’t give all employees promotions, bonuses, or raises. The driving force behind this is often budgetary: “I can’t give Susie a raise, and there’s no career development path in the department right now. Promotions are valuable, but we must ensure promotions are also real in that they advance a person’s career with the appropriate compensation increase. To state the obvious, raises change base compensation levels. Bonuses.

Marketing Compensation to Employees and Managers? You Bet.

Compensation Cafe

What, if anything, does that have to do with our compensation work? You know, just like if you have a new compensation change or improvement, why don't employees and managers just buy it and applaud your innovation? It's a lot harder to take that approach with compensation announcements, but it is important to make the effort as we also bring out new ideas and practices every year. Margaret is a Board member of the Bay Area Compensation Association (BACA). Marketing?

Why Bother Talking About Total Rewards?

Compensation Cafe

But otherwise, it often seems that benefits fit more comfortably into the "Total Rewards" concept than compensation does. So why should compensation practitioners bother? After all, "Total Compensation" communicates its meaning clearly, why jam it into "Total Rewards"?

What's Going On Out There?

Compensation Cafe

Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP brings deep expertise to discussions on employee pay, performance management, career development and communications at the Café. Hungry for up-to-date data on how your competitors are handling the Human Resource components of the Covid-19 pandemic?

AON 63

Pay Transparency Check-In

Compensation Cafe

Check out this series on Compensation Cafe: What pay transparency means , where to start, how to talk it over with executives , and deciding how far to go. Base Salaries Compensation Communication Compensation Philosophy Data and Analytics Gender Equity Incentives/Bonuses

eBook 74

Executive Compensation: Taking Charge of Your Org’s Approach

Astron Solutions

” They’re talking about your organization’s CEO, and you can see that there’s some clear dissatisfaction among the employees at your organization when it comes to how they’re compensated versus how much your executives get paid. What is Executive Compensation?

If You Don't Give Raises This Year

Compensation Cafe

Some of you will be able to replace the raise with a bonus, so you'll have it easier. Your trade-off program(s) should probably fall under categories like professional growth, career opportunities, work breaks, medium-term incentives and so on.

Will Employee Compensation Beat Out the Kardashians for Celebrity Status?

Compensation Cafe

Employee compensation was a lead story in The New York Times on Tuesday. You can find the headline " One-Time Bonuses and Perks Muscle Out Pay Raises for Workers " on the front page of the Business Day section. The increase in variable pay practices is no surprise to the readers of Compensation Cafe, but the editors of The New York Times have determined it's hot stuff for their readers. If your company isn't explaining compensation, the media might as well.

Growing a Healthy Compensation Program -- The Turning Point

Compensation Cafe

This is the fourth in a Compensation Cafe series for small and early-stage companies. HR operating context: Every department is working on developing reliable SOPs. And it's important to note that while many HR practitioners have participated in compensation projects, Healthy Gadgets needs an experienced specialist to help them address complexities -- especially in Sales. Bonus: Healthy Gadgets' business model has shifted from "let's get going" to "grow, grow, grow."

A Primer on Job Architecture-Part One

Compensation Cafe

A job architecture's goal is organization-wide alignment of all jobs in a company into a structure which may be used to address: workforce planning, job levels, job titling, career movement and pay. . The basic components are not foreign to everyday compensation work.

eBook 52

A Primer on Job Architecture-Part Two

Compensation Cafe

The outcomes of the design process can make compensation administration, career development and workforce planning so much more effective. The projects that work in this way often produce a job architecture that emphasizes compensation administration.

eBook 52

How Betty Crocker Thinks about Compensation

Compensation Cafe

Updating compensation practices or redesigning a plan? Whether you are evaluating or pricing jobs, creating an incentive or new salary ranges, here are some "ingredients" that will help you cook up a cake that gets more attention -- because you're paying closer attention. Length of service, age, departmental comparisons and such all offer insights into how compensation has been used in the past. I'm sure some Compensation Cafe readers can kick in more examples.

How to Make Headway on Pay Transparency

Compensation Cafe

What I'm talking about is giving employees enough information to understand how compensation decisions are made in your culture. After all, it's not just compensation information you'll be sharing but, eventually, a whole new open-book pay-for-performance philosophy.)

Growing a Healthy Compensation Program

Compensation Cafe

If you're an HR office of one, busily juggling everything from beneficiary forms to incentive awards, it's hard to believe that you share any pressures with other HR managers. Nonetheless, consultants and researchers will tell you that there are some predictable similarities between the reward challenges of companies that are the same size and/or at the same stage of development. Compensation practices you typically see in an organization of fewer than 100 employees.

Plan Design Laid Bare!

Compensation Cafe

Most compensation practitioners can tick off the obvious ones on their fingers. Go back through Compensation Cafe archives and you find many articles on each of these plan design parameters. Whether you are redesigning your base pay program or creating an incentive plan, it pays to learn from experienced colleagues, so I've included links to Compensation Cafe articles about each of these three best practices. Best practices for plan design?

Skip the Coulda, Woulda, Shouldas This Year

Compensation Cafe

Still haven't solved that compensation issue that's been nagging at you? You know, the ones that would deliver on your compensation philosophy, but you don't really have the confidence to take on. Use Compensation Cafe as your DIY resource.

It's No Time for "Shelter in Place" When It Comes to Employee Communications

Compensation Cafe

Odds are there are going to be a range of tough, candid compensation communications in the coming months. Compensation has often taken this "shelter in place" approach to employee communications. Career development. Incentives.