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02/21/2014

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We had this scenario at my last employer (restaurant company) so we started providing 2 times per increases (at the full annual rate) for the first 3 years that someone started in the new role. It didn't solve the problem completely, but it helped significantly.

We cut our training program... nailed it!

Joe:

Oh man, too funny - but I guess that option will always be on the table too!

Joe's "solution" is depressingly realistic. If you limit the breadth of your training, you restrict the portability of your talent, thus retaining them by default. Of course, that keeps your people less competent and minimizes their growth potential, lest a rival pirate them before a promotional slot opens up. I imagine that fine line is still a frequent topic of discussion and debate in training and development circles.

Great article and comments! I see this is as a challenge at my organization.

@Darcy: How did you go about implementing that policy? Was it well received by Senior Management? It's tough for me to make that argument at my organization because I drive the compensation function 18 months out of school. There seems to be a conflict of interest in proposing such a program/policy. Any suggestions?

David: suggest you propose the policy be immediately applied to those with less tenure than you. That precludes any accusations of self-interest and simultaneously provides a control group for later comparative study.

At my last big Corporate employer, new non-exempts hired in the bottom third of their range were eligible for "early increases" every six months over their first two years. Their jobs had fast learning curves. The rapid initial merit approval component alone made it very successful, focusing mutual attention on swift mastery. Merit reviews dropped to annual and the pay trajectory slowed once inside the middle third.

Another great posting! Reminds me of a key finding from the Watson Wyatt Human Capital Survey from circa 1997 where they linked HR activities to shareholder return. Biggest gain for shareholders was found in investing in recruiting practices that proactively sought to find "already trained" people rather than investing in internal development. Sadly this type of recruiting practice is short-sighted and guts internal culture. It's sustainable only because fear drives a lot of our economy - not sustainability and ethics.

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