Option Adoption

October 11, 2017

Equity as compensation warrants a rethink.

Stock options gained popularity in the 1950’s and conventional thinking was that equity compensation aligned the interests of executives with those of shareholders (the agency theory). It also appealed ...Read more

Peaches and Cream

September 03, 2017

This blog is co-authored with Anna Abgaryan a consultant at The Human Well who advises clients on effective pay systems in multiple industries.

Reward programs should support business strategy right? But how many organizations have we seen stray from this path when seduced by the lates...Read more

Resetting Pay Philosophy

June 07, 2017

Competitive advantage means differentiation through a unique business strategy supported with an appropriate talent plan and pay philosophy. 

Talent management is increasingly focused on the individual but individuality in compensation is di...Read more

Impactful Pay Management

November 07, 2016

Once again pay review time is upon us. Salary surveys have arrived and it is time to adjust ranges, consider changes to pay design and build budgets. HR practitioners spend hours job matching, harvesting, and submitting data to costly surveys only to spend more hours analyzing t...Read more

Why Do You Pay Your Employees?

September 01, 2016

You could be forgiven for thinking “That’s obvious, they wouldn’t show up otherwise?” but there’s more to this transaction than at first meets the eye that can add value to an organization.

The Contract: Employees set aside energy in the shape of t...Read more
Are We Moving Toward Democratic Pay?

September 01, 2016

Discrimination has become a metaphor for unfair but most pay systems discriminate. We know gender is a problem and business is figuring out how to eradicate that but will performance soon be added to that agenda as well? Does awarding additional pay to an employee who is more engaged or a...Read more

How do you Value Work?

May 20, 2016

When managing pay most organizations worry about three things:

Competitiveness - how jobs are paid relative to similar jobs in competitor companies Internal Equity - how individuals are paid relative to colleagues in the company; and Affordability - compensation bu...Read more
The Retention Convention

March 12, 2016

This blog is coauthored with Paris Aden; Partner and co-founder of Valitas Capital Partners. Paris has broad industry experience with a focus on energy, materials, industrial and consumer p...Read more

Are you Really Paying for Performance?

January 28, 2016

Flat compensation means variable, performance based pay has become an important way to meaningfully reward the outstanding. Its growing importance ups the ante for making it as effective as possible and aligning payouts with desired results.

Businesses typically operate ...Read more

Compensation Challenges for the Mining Industry

December 15, 2015

As far back as 2012 we wrote about the cash crisis facing the sector and the impact on pay. Four years later the challenges have considerably worsened. Who envisaged them lasting this long?

For juniors and non-producing companies these are not normal times and the normal pay process ne...Read more

The 2016 Incentive

November 24, 2015

Now that the Thanksgivings are done it’s time to think 2016 goals and incentives. Incentive is the right word. You want to drive behavior toward achievement of your goals. 2016 is another year of minimal pay increases - great for employers but not so mot...Read more

Centralizing Global Benefits Management

August 24, 2015

HR Consultancy AON recently issued the results of its 2015 Global Benefits Survey on which a number of independent sources have reported. The survey provides a snapshot of what's happening in employee benefits management. Our blog today tries to get behind the findings and decipher w...Read more

A Peek Into the Future

August 12, 2015

Greg was worried about the upcoming vote. He was not sure why as things had gone pretty smoothly since democratic pay provisions had been introduced. Maybe it was the prospect of being judged by his peers and subordinates. He knew he was well regarded by most of the organization at least accor...Read more

What Should Drive Pay: Fairness or the Market

June 14, 2015

Ten years of low salary inflation has meant increasing focus on employee engagement as a means of improving productivity which has resulted in internal equity becoming the dominant force in pay management for many companies.

Balancing external competitiveness determined through salary ...Read more

Pay Complacency Q&A

February 08, 2015

Our recent blog on Pay Complacency prompted three requests from readers for further information. The first, how would we recommend treating solid performers who have reached the top of their range but who continue to provide exceptional le...Read more

Pay Policies Pay Off

February 03, 2015

Peter sat back down and thanked the Compensation Committee for listening to his presentation. The annual ritual had begun - the one where the CEO delivers his salary and incentive recommendations for his direct reports and the team below.

He didn't object to the process in fact he welc...Read more

Did Santa Deliver the Annual Incentive Payout?

December 30, 2014

It is the time of year when the organization turns it's thoughts to the annual incentive and how big it will be. A time when compensation plans should be working their hardest to deliver their biggest impact but will this year be any different from prior ones? Will this investment deliver full...Read more

Overcoming Pay Complacency

December 22, 2014

Our last blog discussed why company pay policies had become stale and were ceasing to be an influence on behavior. We reviewed the causes, specifically the over reliance on market benchmarking. We now examine how compensation practice needs to change...Read more

Pay Complacency

December 13, 2014

At budget time the same pattern plays out; 2 or 3 percent for inflation plus 1% for merit and promotion. Low pay inflation is a good thing for the finance team but can result in stifled incentives for the workforce. Pay management has become tiresome and your people don't see it any differentl...Read more

What is a Pay Structure!

August 06, 2014

There comes a point when the management of pay by individual employee becomes too onerous an exercise; too many moving parts begin to make it an extensive process. This may be on reaching a certain size (e.g. number of employees), it may be when engagement demands greater internal pay equity o...Read more

The Gift of a Bonus

March 30, 2014

The year end results are being tabulated, across the organization employees and managers will be turning their thoughts to what they can expect from their annual incentive payment.

Will this time be the same as prior years; the same blunders and oversights, retroactive objectives, infl...Read more

Reducing the Cost of Employee Benefits

January 13, 2014

Tom was in the market for a new car.  He wanted to update his grey 4 door sedan.  He told the sales representative at his local dealership what he wanted and the salesman proceeded to pitch Tom on the all new features and benefits on various other models since Tom's last purchase. Tw...Read more

International Benefits - Are you Covered?

June 28, 2013

The decision to change or adopt an international benefits plan is usually preceded by an extensive review taking several months and a substantial cost. It is a serious business addressing the risks encountered by employees working abroad who are often in difficult locations. It is ironic then,...Read more

An Executive Compensation Case Study

June 03, 2013

James was the CEO of an emerging company on the verge of a major expansion. 

Changes were needed to the company's executive compensation arrangements but he wasn't sure quite how to proceed.

Firstly, it was essential that the company retained its senior managemen...Read more

Improving the Return on Pay Management

November 07, 2012

It's that time again. Salary survey results are in and traditionally its time to build pay budgets, adjust ranges and think about changes to pay design. Participants spend hours harvesting and submitting data, consulting firms then produce expensive survey reports and participants again spend ...Read more

Why a New Compensation Plan is like Starting a new Business

August 29, 2012

Starting a new business and developing a successful compensation system are a lot alike. There are several fundamental principles that you have to keep in mind:

1. Do your thing

What's right for your company is not the same as what anyone else is doing! When managing com...Read more

Pay Strategy

July 05, 2012

Are your shareholders happy with the way that you pay your top team?

Retaining and attracting senior management capable of driving your company's success is a never ending problem. A disciplined process helps balance the competing interests.

Effective compensation addresse...Read more

Annual Cash Awards: Bonus or Incentive?

June 20, 2012

Virtually all companies provide their senior employees today with some form of variable cash compensation. Most do so because it is "competitive practice" but the genesis was an attempt to align the cost of pay with the fortunes of the business. Later that evolved into attempts to shape the fo...Read more

5 Ways to Create Your Compensation Advantage

December 05, 2011

The war for talent will become more bitterly fought as the Boomers leave the battleground. To attract a new executive or any team member is going to require your organisation to have an employment brand that differentiates y...Read more