Philosophers probably have a difficult time with our definition of “philosophy.” Most resources will tell you that a compensation philosophy is a statement explaining the company’s position about pay. For most of the companies who take the time to write a philosophy, the result tends to look something like this:
“Our compensation program is intended to attract, motivate and retain talent employees. Our goal is to target base pay at the 50th percentile for employees who meet expectations. We offer various incentive and recognition programs that are designed to provide compensation for the achievement of company, team and individual objectives. Our principles include striving for internal and external equity, focus on stated corporate objectives, alignment with investor interests and maintaining or building our position in the marketplace.”
What if I told you that a philosophy was not a statement, but an activity?
Last week esteemed fellow Comp Café writer, Stephanie Thomas, Ph.D., wrote an article asking, “Should You Scrap Your Long-Term Incentive Plans?” I commented that LTI programs are for more likely to be used improperly than correctly. But the real question is, why?
Why do we continue to design and implement programs that are ineffective? More important, why do plans at so many companies look almost exactly like the plans at very different companies? It’s kind of like watching your competitor’s ship sink and deciding to build Continue reading →
We’ve all heard some version of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling“ at some point in our lives. For the record, the original is sadder and more intense than I remember. The summary is this. A bird is hatched. It is ugly and misunderstood. Others ostracize it without even knowing what it is. It doesn’t fit well anywhere and often has to make its way. Later it grows into a beautiful swan, and everyone admires it. The end.
Welcome to the world of Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs). If you are at a company that is not publicly traded or is unlikely to ever have an IPO, this post may be Continue reading →