Either Put Me in Charge or Let Me Be a Lackey. I’m Fine with Either, But I Can’t Do Both.

stickman in charge or lackeyA friend recently updated their status with the title to this article. Ironically, I saw it just as I got off a call with a client who  was explaining that somehow she was expected to serve as both the strategic visionary and tactical processor for her company’s multinational LTIP programs. The simple request in my friends status update seemed reasonable, well thought-out and familiar. As we traverse the crags of an uneven recovery, companies have found it difficult to create compensation plans that perform as expected. As budgets continue to be bound by uncertainty, companies have been unwilling, or unable, Continue reading

Defining Pay for a Compensation Unicorn

stickman unicornAt a recent client engagement, the HR department described a specific position they were having a hard time trying to fill.  The position was incredibly specific and required knowledge and a skill set that was nearly impossible to conceive. They told me that they had been trying to fill the position for almost two years. During that period, the department in need had created “better and more specific definitions.” As I probed deeper it became clear that this position was more than difficult to fill, it was impossible. They were trying to hire a unicorn. Continue reading

How Much Money to do a Job You Don’t Want?

stickman how much to do a job you dont wantCompanies are trudging their way through this slow and often painful economic recovery. Reorganization has become a mantra of survival, but where do your employees and their compensation fall into the mix? Recently both friends and clients have been telling me about their troubles at work. Many aren’t really complaining about their compensation, they are griping about the job they are doing for the pay.

A common refrain goes something like this: “I used to love my job, but I don’t even know what I am supposed to be doing anymore.” Or, “The Continue reading

Compensation and Loyalty: The Head and the Heart

stickman head or heartRecently, I was working onsite at a client’s office doing a series of employee engagement interviews.  The company is looking for ways to move to the next level and I suggested that we find out what their employees were thinking before we guessed at any type of new compensation program. These types of interviews are almost always eye-opening and this case was no different.

On the bright side, a steady stream of employees came through the interview room telling me how Continue reading

Offer the World First and Money Second. “Small Company, Big World”

globeMy 16-month old nephew inspires today’s posting. The other day, while watching a video of him, I couldn’t help be amazed at the vastness o f his world.  This is true both in physical space and size relative to his little body. He lives in a small town in Nebraska, but it couldn’t seem larger to him. I often envision him in twenty years.  This seemingly large world will in fact turn out to be very small. Nearly every adult male in his area works for the railroad or Continue reading