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Ann, great article.

I have found that being proactive often means being creative. For companies without a lot of cash, this may mean granting additional equity grants before the job market, and stock market have completely recovered. This can allow both the company and employees to take advantage of the growth without a huge upfront cash outlay.

Yes Ann, great article.

I'm not sure if it's possible, but I would love to hear some stories of how compression has impacted various (unnamed) companies. Have you heard of anything unique that would cause executives to take notice and thus drive home this lesson?

I have personally found myself in this very situation. Following an extended hiring freeze, I accepted recruiting responsibility within my business unit. Imagine my disgust when HR forwarded the offer letters that reflected hiring salaries nearing my own! I made my case and received a salary adjustment; however, I was angry that I had to discover it. It's worth noting that I'm no longer with that Fortune 500 company.

Total BS!!! If you are a 'seasoned, experienced employee' then you have been there 10+years. He bought his house for half of what it is today. ADJUST WAGES TO THE PRICE OF HOUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND YOU WILL SEE THAT THE NEW GUYS ARE SEVERELY UNDERPAID!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks like Joshua experienced "rotten equity" treatment and took a "foot-promotion". Doing the right thing belatedly and only when pressured is the wrong thing to do. Equity supplied begrudgedly wins no applause but earns bitterness instead.

Thank goodness that wages are NOT tied to home prices, as NutsyPoster suggests, or everyone's salaries would be cut. The news is filled with statistics about the high percentage of homeowners whose mortgages are "under water" (worth far less now than they originally paid).


The equity grant thought is a great one - thanks for the reminder that this is another strong potential tool for many organizations facing compression.


Sounds like an idea for another post. Executives may not take notice until compression causes some serious blowback in the way of key staff departures (or threats of departure). It often falls to us to track, measure and report mounting compression issues - hopefully in an effort to jump ahead of the loss of morale or talent.


Your story is a great illustration of the importance of being proactive rather than reactive - thanks for sharing it here.


We (me and the rest of my profession) typically advise employers to pay "cost of labor" (i.e. competitive wages) rather than "cost of living", for a number of good reasons, not the least of which is the point Jim makes.


Thank goodness indeed!

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