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Agree with everything you said. Treat your key/critically skilled employees like assets in your portfolio --- they have the potential for providing the most value/success.

Well said, Chuck. "Competitive" is really a range, because no two enterprises pay exactly the same for any one job. Nearly every employer claims to pay "above average," which should do weird things to median measurements. Firms that pay low don't really seem to have worse turnover than ones with objectively high pay. People don't move for a five-cent difference. Not all rewards jingle. Total Rewards cover a lot more territory than a paycheck alone.

Remember that research covered in one the comp blogs here a few years ago that showed a tremendous increase in retention and engagement among ees when they were told they were paid ABOVE their range midpoint? It was never the number; it was always their perception of their overall treatment. The feeling of being valued is much more important than the dollar amount granted.

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