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Great article Derek! Pay is becoming less of an "attractor" today with the shift to knowledge workers. The more highly paid the less compensation is a retention factor. Once again, compensation is a dissatisfier.

Very timely post, Derek, because today's W@W Journal Quarterly release has an excellent academic review of
Evidence-Based Lessons About Financial Incentives and Pay Variations
By Nina Gupta, Ph.D., and Samantha Conroy, Walton College of Business,
University of Arkansas

"Despite contrary claims in popular literature, scientific research shows
that financial incentives and the resulting variations in pay among employees can be powerful sources for improving workplace productivity. The authors review that research and present information on the effective design and implementation of financial incentive plans."

The authors go into detail about the limitations of merit-pay differentiations and how they either support or defeat incentive effectiveness. Conditions for success are clearly stated. Good info there on lots of total reward topics we visit regularly here!

Culture wins, hands down! Of course, Maslow figured that out half a century ago. Unfortunately, most organizational leaders don't know and/or cannot describe the culture, and often punt by responding with what they desire it to be, or think it is. And that's too bad, because proactive culture awareness and management can create significant competitive advantage.

Compensation is a significant cultural attribute, and can serve to reinforce and sustain cultural norms. Compensation professionals can play a big role in that process, but must practice their craft with a view that encompasses more that the subject itself.

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