Want some help from a pro this year? I thought I'd give you a condensed version of how to organize communications for a calendar-year compensation plan. It's always easier to start with a template instead of starting from scratch.
The steps below will get you started (click the image below to enlarge). Refer to them while you make the decisions needed to create a plan suited to your own organization.
Pay close attention to the note about transparency. Employees want to know more than steps and deadlines. Transparency is achieved when they understand why your program works the way it does and how decisions are made about competitiveness and awards. Find ways to include longer explanations that employees can read at their leisure -- for example, Qs and As and tip sheets that they can refer to on your intranet.
Unfortunately, many executives are unwilling to pass the "why and how" details along. If that's the case in your company, then accept that you are not being transparent and your employees are not going to believe that you are telling them the whole story.
Planning for compensation communications can seem so rigid -- don't let that happen to you this year. Make a real effort to integrate business information into your explanations to employees of compensation decisions, so people understand the link between business performance and compensation. Then you will be making a contribution to your company's business results, and to transparency, this year.
Margaret O'Hanlon, CCP brings deep expertise to discussions on employee pay, performance management, career development and communications at the Café. Her firm, re:Think Consulting, provides market pay information and designs base salary structures, incentive plans, career paths and their implementation plans. Earlier, she was a Principal at Willis Towers Watson. Margaret is a Board member of the Bay Area Compensation Association (BACA). She coauthored the popular eBook, Everything You Do (in Compensation) Is Communications, a toolkit that all practitioners can find at https://gumroad.com/l/everythingiscommunication.