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Great! And when a "no compensation philosophy" company has made individual deals with employees, once you do create and communicate a philosophy you have backlash from employees who have/have not benefited. There's nothing worse than making individual deals with employees. Either way we Comp pros have their hands full!

Thanks for the comment, Jacque. And I agree about the "individual deals." Once you start down that road, you have indeed cemented your compensation philosophy into place. It's called "Let's Make a Deal!" -- with the spoils going to the squeakiest wheels and best negotiators!

To be honest one of the 'problems' with our field is the fact that we indeed do try to develop 'compensation philosophies'. That is probably why we are listened to by our human resource peers but often ignored by those in organizations chartered to translate what people do into measurable outcomes.

Rather than develop 'compensation philosophies' perhaps it would benefit us to become involved in helping leadership define something we call 'business strategies related to how the workforce is rewarded'. That would put our profession closer to the 'center' of why organization exist. The most powerful communications message we can help organizations deliver could be about the fact that people, and the rewards they can receive, are a potentially powerful part of the business solution.

I have been reading with interest the situation at the VA where managers receive significant 'bonuses' and nearly everyone is judged to be 'highly satisfactory' as it relates to performance. At the same time our veterans are seemingly getting substantially less in terms of the help taxpayers are paying for and expecting.

Perhaps a change in course relative to 'business strategy as it relates to rewards' is in order?


Belated thanks for the comment.

In a word: Yes!

You are exactly right. I myself have been quietly shifting what used to be compensation philosophy development to a strategy alignment exercise in my own client work. I suspect this is true for others as well - but to your point, we should probably be pushing a radical shift to business solutioning rather than simply incremental improvements in our philosophizing!

You should write more about this. So should I.

Thanks again!

noun: philosophy

the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
a particular system of philosophical thought.
plural noun: philosophies
"Schopenhauer’s philosophy"
the study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience.
"the philosophy of science"

Perhaps we are using the wrong term altogether...


I think you're right on - and so is Jay. Sounds like its time for us to move in a whole new direction in terms of our mission/vision/strategy for how we reward.

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