• What if your co-workers knew how much you make?


    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    We’ve talked a bit about social transparency – the dawn of a new social media age in which previous ideas of privacy seem to be rapidly changing. While many of us seem more than happy to share just about every aspect of our lives online, one component still remains taboo for many – salary.

  • Q and A from PayScale webinar series: Compensation Budgeting


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a three-part webinar series all about Compensation Budgeting, presented by yours truly. Part one was all about managing pay inequities. Part two taught attendees all about raises, and part three showed how to pull it all together using PayScale Insight. If you missed any of the webinars, you are welcome to view the recordings. Since this is a topic of interest to so many of our Compensation Today readers, we're posting my answers to many of the questions received after the webinars here. Enjoy!

  • Effective bonus compensation plans for temporary seasonal staffers


    Each year, thousands of companies make the decision to hire temporary workers to augment their human capital resources during peak production cycles and busy seasons. According to the most recent figures from the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2 million people are employed as contingency workers in a wide variety of temporary and seasonal assignments. Additionally, organizations in the manufacturing, retail, and hospitality markets rely heavily on the use of temporary and seasonal staffers.

  • 23 answers about compensation analytics and the ROI of turnover


    Mykkah Herner, M.A., CCP, PayScale

    PayScale recently hosted a wildly popular webinar entitled Compensation Analytics: The ROI of Turnover, presented by me, Mykkah Herner. If you missed the webinar, you are welcome to view the slides from the presentation. Since this is a topic of interest to so many of our Compensation Today readers, we're posting my answers to many of the questions received after this webinar here.

  • Budgeting Employee Compensation Like You Would Your Personal Budget


    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Most people tend to view their personal and corporate budgets in very different ways, even though the basic principles of both are the same. To create a budget, no matter what type of budget it is, you have certain amount of money you need to work within and specific expenses that need to be included. So if the principles of both are so basic and similar, it would only stand to reason that the same budgeting wisdom you use at home could also be adapted to the budget you create at work also.

  • Stock options won't go the way of the Dodo Bird


    Dan Walter, Performensation

    An August 27, 2013, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Last Gasp for Stock Options?” The writer, Emily Chasan, starts the article with this sentence: “Stock options are on the verge of extinction.” Since Emily just came out and said it, I won't bury the lead either.

  • Is Compensation at Your Company a Shot in the Dark?


    Chris Schave, PayScale Account Executive

    Throughout my time at PayScale I have had discussions around compensation with hundreds and possibly even thousands of HR Professionals, Managers, and Executives. At this point, I’m not really surprised by a whole lot. Some companies have no compensation plan, structure, or strategy, while others have one, but it’s based on shifty compensation practices. There are actually some who are highly sophisticated and know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it, but that’s not as common as the other two scenarios.

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Compensation Strategy


    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Years ago, a college graduate had a long-term future and a pension plan with a single company to look forward to. Nowadays, however, the average life-span of a career is determined by the performance of the company. In uncertain times, working professionals are seeking compensation that’s outside of traditional salaries and retirement perks. They are looking for a compensation strategy that’s based on their individual contribution and competency.

  • Managing Employee Pay with Ranges


    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP; Manager of Consulting Services at PayScale

    I spend quite a bit of time working with people to develop appropriate structure for their organizations. How many grades should they have? How wide should the ranges be? How can I make sure my ranges are aligned to the market? I’ve written before about pricing based on the job vs pricing based on the employee, which is a very strategic step forward for the organization. The question is, once you build your ranges around the market, how do you determine where to place your employees within range?

  • Employing Teen Interns this Summer? What You Need to Know About FLSA


    Tess C. Taylor, PHR

    Now that the summer months are underway, millions of American teens will be looking for jobs to save up for cars and earn college credits. That factor, coupled with President Obama’s Youth Jobs + campaign that encourages businesses to give young people a chance to learn through meaningful employment and on-the-job training programs, means there will be many teens available for seasonal and part time assignments. However, before you hang the “Help Wanted” sign up on your door, there has been a recent change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that you should know about.

  • PayScale Insight Summer Edition 2013: New Employee Pay Report Makes Compensation Transparency Simple

    PayScale Insight Summer 2013 Edition

    Laleh Hassibi, PayScale

    How well do your employees understand your compensation plan and philosophy? Though talking about pay with employees is akin to talking about the birds and the bees with your kids, often uncomfortable for everyone involved, clearly communicating compensation to employees is worth the effort. When decisions about comp levels are systematic and communicated with employees, the organization’s expectations of its employees become clear. They will know how they will be rewarded and how to reach their personal career and financial goals. By sharing your expectations, you’re also giving your employees more control over their destiny, thereby raising satisfaction and retention.

  • Measuring Compensation Against the Market

    employee retentionJessica Miller-Merrill, blogging4jobs

    Compensation is the single-largest expense for the majority of companies. It helps your company recruit and retain talented personnel and therefore can be seen as an investment in your company’s success. As with any investment, a plan for how much you’re going to invest, along with when and where you’re going to invest, is essential. As a financial planner once told me, If you’re thinking about your investments individually and not as part of a bigger plan, you may as well be throwing darts at a wall of balloons and hoping you hit one that holds the jackpot.

  • Pricing to the Employee vs. Pricing to the Job

    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, PayScale

    As an employee, I’m often concerned with my own value and therefore worth to the organization. As a manager, I was often trying to determine the value of each job to the organization. Now as a comp professional, I focus on a little bit of both: the value of the job itself, but also the value of the employee to the organization.

  • Equity Compensation – Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), Downside Protection with a Couple Downsides

    Stickman - equity compensation - rsu
    Dan Walter, Performensation

    Last month I covered Restricted Stock Shares (RSS), today’s post covers Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). Where RSS and Stock Options are cousins, RSS and RSUs are siblings. RSS is the older sibling, with more years and experience under its belt. RSUs are the new little sister who came by surprise and often gets more attention than seems to be required. RSUs were seldom used before they shot into the spotlight following the Dotcom crash of 1999-2000. Initially, they were used to replace underwater stock options and slow the use of plan shares approved by shareholders. They provided some protection against a decrease in stock price and used somewhere between 25-50% of the shares require to provide the same value as stock options. They quickly became a major component of the equity compensation toolbox.

  • The Seven Deadly Sins of Executive Compensation

    Stickman - 7 deadly sins of exec comp
    Dan Walter, Performensation

    Most of the problems with executive compensation tend to originate within a few categories. I have attempted to summarize these and look forward to the compensation community adding their take on this topic. Look at your past mistakes and issues. Did they start with one of these seven categorical errors?

  • Equity Compensation – Restricted Stock Shares, Always a Great Tool, Sometimes

    Stickman - Equity Compensation - RSS
    Dan Walter, Performensation

    Restricted Stock Shares (RSS), often called Restricted Stock Awards (RSA) or even more simply Restricted Stock, have been used longer than any other equity compensation instrument. Companies have used variations of restricted stock for almost as long as stock has existed. While ISOs and NQSOs are “appreciation only” awards, RSSs are Full Value Awards (FVA). RSS awards are unique in that they require the issuance of real stock as of the date of the award. Restricted Stock is a confusing term since it can refer to at least three major categories of stock. 1) Stock issued prior to registration with the SEC under the 1933 Act; 2) Stock issued to affiliates of the company who are subject to Rule 144 filings; 3) Stock that must meet time and/or performance conditions before it can be freely transferred. For the sake of this post, I will only cover the last of these.

  • The Performance Review. Formal or Informal?

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    A performance evaluation is an opportunity for a manager and an employee to meet and discuss the employee's job performance, organizational priorities, and performance goals. For employees this process can be something they dread or look forward to. Despite being a star employee there might be things that they can still improve on but receiving that type of feedback can feel like being put in front of a firing squad. As new generations continue to enter the workforce the way they receive feedback varies. Formal processes can seem daunting, where an informal review might put them at ease.

  • CFO Corner: What the Heck is Realizable Pay (and why you need to know…now)

    Stickman - Realizable Pay
    Dan Walter, Performensation

    In the good old days, determining total compensation was fairly easy. Always wrong, but easy. For any given year you just added up what you paid people in base pay, what you expected to pay them in bonuses, other cash incentives, and the Fair Value (or a reasonable equivalent) of equity at the time it was granted. Public companies disclosed this information and shareholders were left to make their own projections from there. There has been a fairly rapid movement to a measurement called “realizable pay” (the current/recent value of outstanding pay). This metric may also be combined with “realized pay” (the value of exercised or otherwise delivered pay) in an attempt to provide a more accurate picture of total compensation and its alignment to company performance.

  • Are We Closing the Gender Gap at Work?

    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    More than 50 years ago women earned about 60 percent on average of what men earned when working year-round full time. That percentage was steady up until the 1980s when there was considerable progression in the movement. The percentage then increase to about 72 percent where it has remained for nearly two decades only rising by 5% in the past 20+ years.  

  • 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your 2013 Comp Plan


    Mykkah Herner, MA, CCP, 
    Compensation Consultant at PayScale

    It’s the end of the year! I’m wrapping up a bunch of client projects, getting them all set to launch their brand new compensation plans in the New Year. As I’m doing so, I’m realizing how helpful the tried and true New Years’ Resolutions are when thinking about best practices for managing compensation plans. Below are some of my favorites.


Sign up for the latest tips and tricks in compensation from PayScale.
Sign up for PayScale News
Career News