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Perfectly logical, to continue the reward customization process for greater specificity and effectiveness.

Salaries and even most wages are already customized. Payroll deductions are currently personalized. Very few folks earn exactly the same amount of money or even value the various components of their total remuneration package equally. Some of us have long predicted and promoted individual benefits customization. The future lies far beyond the simple cafeteria approach, just like executive comp packages are rarely standardized and mass-produced in ironclad rigid formats imposed uniformly on every corporate officer in the same entity.

Surprised if ten years from now, virtually everyone whose work is particularly valued doesn't have a completely unique personalized total remuneration package with tradeoffs in every component element, from hours, time off and workplace environment to economic terms. It's inevitable, because customizing produces a more individually appropriate and mutually beneficial result.

An interesting concept, and certainly one that has been explored and discussed to a limited extent elsewhere. The "have it your way" customization reference bears a flattering resemblance to a similar topic posted to WorldatWork's Online Community which garnered a considerable amount of traffic and follow-on discussion: http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/community/discussions/discuss.jsp?did=15601

I think this is definitely the next "high frontier" for total rewards professionals to start preparing for now.

Make mine extra mayonnaise and no pickles please . . .!

Interesting prediction. Wouldn't bet against it!

No pickles! Sacrilege! That's two of you now predicting this as the next frontier for rewards.

Thanks for the link ... and both of you, for the comments!

Anne: I have a contrarian view point of this continuing along the path of more customization. To me the political winds, which controls government actions, is moving away from individual rewards and more "equalization of wages." Much like a union model. So unless the political winds change I think we will see moves toward standardization of wages in the name of "fairness", more charges of discrimination for reward plans that do not meet this "fairness" standard. And in benefit plans we will be moving to a national plan to a much greater extent.

All great points...

Is Standardization and Equality the same? Do they equate to Fairness?

Maybe this is a topic that we should get out in front of. Especially if, as Michael contends, the words: equalization, standardization, and fairness are viewed as synonymous.

Perhaps the focus of equality and fairness should be gauged on the total remuneration package, rather than selectively - or conveniently - on base pay.

A few days ago, the Alliance for Work-Life Progress Executive Director at WorldatWork testified before a Senate Subcommittee. Her task was to educate the subcommittee on work-life issues and the need for the inclusion of work-life flexibility in programs for Federal employees.

Similarly, we as compensation professionals may need to educate lawmakers regarding the level of standardization needed in order to create equality and fairness.

If what we are seeking is both flexibility and fairness, I would suggest that the measure needs to be applied to employees' total remuneration.


I take it back -

I would suggest, as the WAW study unveils, that total rewards is the right target (not total remuneration).

Sorry for the brain discombobulation ;{

Interesting thing is that if we did start targeting total rewards as the goal for equality and fairness, we might be able to attain both equality and fairness sooner than just evaluating it purely on base pay.

Mike and Vita:

Good follow-on thoughts, and good reasons why - as you state, Vita - that we'd be better off getting ahead of the train than being yanked along behind it.

And your comments bring up other good questions for me. Like... to what extent and for what elements would the new, flexible total rewards package be linked to job value? To performance (individual, organizational, or whatever entity in between)? To what extent and for what elements is it an equal-across-the-board opportunity?

And, so, do we end up with something like "total reward ranges" rather than individual salary ranges? And what do those look like ... and how are they benchmarked?

Lots to consider, particularly if we want to be thoughtful, strategic and proactive in conceiving and designing the application of this concept.

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