Saint Paddy’s day has many in the mood for parades, green beer, and donning shamrocks. But for me, well, I’m ready for a big ‘ol bowl of Lucky Charms, in honor of their 52nd birthday. I remember fondly the year they added purple horseshoes. That was the first year I realized that things could change. Not just any old things like presidents and countries, but important and established things like pink hearts, orange stars, yellow moons, green clovers and blue diamonds. In fact, the only marbit (the official name for the marshmallow charms) that remains from the original cereal in 1964 is the pink heart. Like Lucky Charms, compensation needs to stay fresh.
How to Avoid Stale Marbits (Or A Stale Comp Strategy)
Lucky Charms has added new marbits, changed their look, and done different promotions to appeal to new, wee little taste buds throughout the years. Think about your comp strategy. Are you making sure that the treats (perks) you offer are appreciated by the employees they’re intended for? To stay fresh and updated means to have the perks and benefits that are relevant for your organization’s unique workforce. Having a variety of marbits helps ensure that everyone can have a favorite. While red balloons and shooting stars may work for some, others will prefer the classic pink hearts or the rainbows.
Get the Right Comp Mix—The Marbits to Oat Bits Ratio
One thing Lucky Charms has consistently gotten right is having the right ratio of marbits to oat pieces. Actually, if I’m being honest, I eat all the oat pieces first before filling my spoon with half-melted marbits. For me, that’s the right mix—but others may cringe at the thought of melty mallows. Like with marbits, oats and milk, getting compensation right is all about finding the right mix. Some will be motivated more by base pay, some more by incentive, and some by the non-cash offerings—the milk if you will. Offering up the perfect mix in a bowl will delight employees across your organization.
Don’t Let Your ‘Lucky’ Charms Get Away—Pay the Right Way
Did you know that Lucky, the Lucky Charms mascot, almost lost his job one year? Right around his 11th birthday, General Mills tried to replace him with Waldo the Wizard. I wonder if it was initiated by GM or Lucky. Maybe Lucky, a star performer, wasn’t getting the right kind of recognition and started to walk. Perhaps General Mills thought they were paying out too much to Lucky and could get by with paying less to Waldo the Wizard. Fortunately, they were smart enough to keep Lucky on. Top performers tend to be worth whatever it takes to keep them. I’m not sure if Lucky Charms would have made it to 50 years with Waldo in the lead role. Look for the Lucky’s in your organization to help bring you to and beyond your goals.
Lucky Charms has had many different marbits over the years, and I embrace each in stride now that I understand their unique value—bring a fresh perspective to the decades old, but still thriving cereal. Until next year, Slainte, raising a spoon to you, and happy St. Paddy’s day!