How to Clean House on Your Comp Plan


Creating a comp plan is like cleaning your house. It’s easy to look across a living room and kitchen full of dirty dishes, scattered toys & magazines, and think “I don’t have the time and energy for all of this right now!” But cleaning your house and planning your compensation don’t have to be so daunting. Here are four steps to take toward a bright & shiny comp plan.

1. Stop procrastinating.

That messy house is not gonna clean itself. Stop giving yourself a reason not to prioritize cleanliness.

Same goes for your comp plan. It’s easy to put off comp planning, but there’s no time like the present. Starting today will make you feel better tomorrow.

 2. Take it one step at a time.

Start with a corner of the garage – don’t feel like you have to do a full scrub down in one day!

Don’t expect yourself to handle job analysis, market benchmarking, comp structure creation, and raise recommendations all in one fell swoop.

Attack your comp plan “one room at a time” and make it manageable.

Start with a needs analysis:

  • How would our organization benefit from a strategic comp plan?
  • When you think forward to a successful comp plan, what would that look like?
  • What steps does your organization need to take to get there?

3. Put yourself on a schedule.

Any self-described neat freak probably has a cleaning schedule. Monday is vacuuming, Tuesday is the kitchen, etc.

Comp planning can be on a schedule too. Think to your end goal and work backwards.
If pay raises need to go live Jan. 1, that means payroll needs that information in December, and HR & Manager sign-off needs to happen in November, so you should start evaluating market data & pay ranges in September (or sooner!)

While this may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Taking a little time now to plan ahead will save you a lot of time (& clean up) later.

4. Get some help!

Many hands make light work. Whether you’re making your family members pitch in, or hiring a professional cleaning service – the clean-up responsibility doesn’t have to be all on you.

Needless to say, the same goes for comp planning. Get your executives invested in the value of a good comp plan, and gain their support bringing hiring managers & supervisors in to the mix.

It’s natural to feel like the pressure’s on when the term “compensation plan” is looming overhead, but reaching out to those who would be positively impacted by a strategic comp plan is great way to distribute the work, and know that you’ve got a team of supporters in your clean-up crew!

Need some extra assistance cleaning house on your comp plan? At PayScale – we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and grab a broom with you. Get a demo today!
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