• Handle Questions About Your Comp Decisions

    Are You Ready to Explain Each Employee’s Pay?

    How well can you explain your compensation plan to your employees? What if you were asked detailed questions by a valued employee about their pay? Would you be ready to respond?

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  • Non-Profit Compensation in a Down Economy

    Reality Check: Why Non-Profits Need to Evaluate Their Pay Practices in Today’s Economy

    The past few years have been tricky for many non-profits. Those that have weathered the recession have done so because they have had great financial advisors or have been really creative. While our private-sector counterparts may be starting to see the light at the end, many non-profits are still struggling.

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  • Comp Basic: Mean vs. Median

    The Difference Between Mean and Median

    Midpoint, market ratio, mean, median, merit bonus - I don’t know what it is with “m” words in compensation, but there are a lot of them and it can get confusing. Let’s try to simplify things by breaking down the difference between two commonly confused words: mean and median.

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  • Bon Voyage, Across-the-Board Increases

    Farewell to Across-the-Board Increases

    By Bridget Quigg, PayScale.com

    Everyday PayScale’s sales team, account managers and executive leadership talk to HR professionals about what is and isn’t working in compensation. We sat down recently with PayScale’s Chief New Business Officer, Dave Smith, to find out what he has learned from our customers and why he’s convinced that across-the-board increases are dead.

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  • Simple Incentive Plan Design

    Use “Line of Sight” to Keep Incentive Plans Simple

    More and more organizations are bringing incentives down to lower levels within the organization. They want employees to have a piece of their compensation that is variable. But, they often complicate their efforts.

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  • SHRM 2011 – Aligning Comp with Business Goals

    SHRM 2011: “Stupid Things” We Do in Compensation

    I learned a very important lesson during my first speaking engagement at the SHRM national conference: Be careful what you say. During my conference break-out session titled “Aligning Your Compensation Strategy with Business Priorities” I said, “I’m on a mission to eliminate the stupid things we do in compensation.” A writer from the SHRM newsletter was listening. Guess which quote led his article? Yep, you guessed it.

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  • How to Avoid Pay Compression

    Pay Compression: Our Nightmare in the World of Compensation

    Compression is the ugliest issue compensation professionals face. It tends to be a no-win, lose-lose situation, and the ways to deal with it are limited.

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  • Becoming a Certified Compensation Professional

    Becoming a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)

    By Bridget Quigg, PayScale.com

    If you work in HR and want to find a way to advance your career, why not earn a Certified Compensation Professional certificate? This certification, offered by World at Work, requires you to pass nine tests and, as their website states, is a “mark of expertise and excellence in all areas of compensation.” Right now, several staff members at PayScale are working to earn their CCPs. We took a moment to interview one of them about how her process is going.

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  • How to Pay Remote Workers

    How to Pay Employees Who Work Remotely

    In my current capacity as Director of Professional Services at PayScale, I get the privilege of working with many different companies in many different industries to build their compensation plans. One of the most interesting observations that I’ve made in the recent months is how many companies, both big and small and from all different industries - tech to manufacturing - have employees who work remotely in home offices. And, paying these employees in different locations brings up some tricky compensation questions.

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  • The Advantages of Broadbanding

    The Advantages and Disadvantages of Broadbanding

    Broadbanding is the term applied to having extremely wide salary bands, much more encompassing than with traditional salary structures. Whereas a typical salary band has a 40 percent difference in pay between its minimum and maximum, broadbanding would typically have a 100 percent difference. Most of the time, creating enormously large bands is done as a measure to support a restructuring. It combines and consolidates the number of levels or job grades. This article will discuss the advantages of broadbanding in an overall compensation strategy, as well as the disadvantages.

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  • Executive Reality – Board Meeting Prep

    Help Your CEO Prep for the Board Meeting

    By Staff Writer

    We continue with our interview series with PayScale’s CEO Mike Metzger (see Helping CEOs with Compensation Planning) by learning what he has to say on the communication between an HR team and a CEO as they do annual compensation reviews and present their plan to the board.

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  • Employee Pay for Multiple Jobs

    Pay for Employees Performing More than One Job Q&A

    If you have employees who want to work additional jobs for extra pay, you need to make sure you are paying them properly. Nonexempt employees may be owed overtime, while exempt employees generally can be paid the extra compensation without affecting their exempt status.

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  • Helping CEOs with Compensation Planning

    How to Help Your CEO with Compensation Decisions

    Our recent 2011 Compensation Practices Survey revealed some useful facts about how compensation decisions are made at companies of all sizes. We noticed that small companies consistently listed the CEO as the person most responsible for final compensation decisions. So, we decided to interview our CEO, Mike Metzger, about how he approaches and likes to be helped with compensation decisions.

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  • Performance Compensation Plans

    Creating Better Performance: Compensation Plans Behind the Scenes

    By Staff Writer

    Today we hear from Brent Egbert, an account manager at PayScale who works everyday with HR professionals who are improving their organization's compensation structure in order to save their company money and improve employee performance. Compensation Today asked Brent a few questions about what he sees happening on the front lines of compensation planning for better performance.

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  • Creating a Merit Matrix

    How to Create a Merit Matrix

    When is it time for your organization to allot its merit budget, how do you best support the decision makers? Consider creating a merit matrix. A merit matrix is a great tool that can easily summarize and boil down paragraphs of policy into a simple, quick-to-view and quick-to-use visual to produce better decisions.

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  • Compensation Planning Season

    'Tis the Season for Compensation Planning

    It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not referring to the mad rush to get Christmas presents wrapped and under the tree, although that can certainly add to our stress level. I’m referring to the time of year when HR and compensation professionals are asked to help with budgeting and compensation planning for the upcoming year.

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  • Competitive Compensation Strategy

    Q & A: Focus on Competitive Compensation Strategy

    How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your business plan? Likely you did so within the last year. How long has it been since you’ve reviewed your compensation plan? Has it been a year, two years or more? Theses two documents need to be in lock step. As your business grows and shifts its strategies, your pay strategies should shift as well.

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  • Communicating Compensation to Employees & Leadership

    Communicating Compensation Plans: How to Present Your Findings and Recommendations

    I am a stickler on communication. I think that too often our compensation programs fail not because of the merits of the program but rather the ways in which we communicate or lack communication both with leaders and employees.

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  • 4 Tips for Business Paid Time Off Plans

    Four Tips for Implementing a Paid Time Off Plan

    Paid time off plans, or PTO banks, give employees flexibility in using their paid leave and are generally easy to implement. Use these guidelines to determine if a PTO business plan is right for your organization and find out four tips for putting a PTO plan to work for you.

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  • Unique Employee Reward Systems & Motivation

    Incentive Pay & Employee Motivation: Create an Experience

    More and more companies are using incentive pay to reward their employees. It is easily linked to pay-for-performance and as one-time events, the costs are contained; making them attractive compared to merit increases that perpetuate expenses into the future. Sometimes during this economic recovery, the amounts of money to spend are, shall we be polite and say, modest? You want to reward performance that stands out, and yet the bucks just are not there to be shared. What can you do?

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