Quick Start: Essentials of Comp and Base Pay

Provides a Foundation for New Compensation Professionals

Employees stepping into a compensation role for the first time may be unfamiliar with the core concepts and team function within the organization. They need the background knowledge necessary to successfully engage in conversations with their HR teams and business units.

WorldatWork recognizes this critical need and offers a practical solution to provide a foundation for new compensation professionals.

This interactive video training delivers a foundational overview on key elements of compensation, factors influencing comp and base pay design, and overall provisioning of programs. Highlights of this onboarding tool include:

  • Accelerated training in bite-sized, learning segments
  • Relevant foundational information on compensation elements
  • Downloadable discussion guides with note-taking capability

The Quick Start video series helps new team members gain a better understanding of the work their teams do. It is an initial step in professional development for introductory compensation functions.

Fast and Effective

Just-in-time, unlimited 120-day access to more than 20 videos covering five core topic areas.

Expert Instruction

Delivered by Cathy Peffen, respected leader in compensation with more than 30 years of experience.


Viewable on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device, anywhere, anytime.

Five core topic areas and more than 20 video segments.

Compensation and Your Organization

Compensation and Your Organization

This introductory section provides an overview of how compensation fits into the bigger picture of the employee total rewards package.

  • Compensation and Total Rewards
  • Compensation Program Foundations: Philosophy, Strategy, Elements and Objectives
  • Learning About Your Business and Why It Matters
  • What Employees Want to Know About Their Pay

How a Company Decides How Much to Pay

How a Company Decides How Much to Pay

Discover what the market is and why it matters. Topics will also cover what makes survey data reliable and useful, as well as key approaches to working with the data to support essential compensation decisions.

  • Factors Influencing Compensation
  • What Is the Market and Why Analyze It?
  • Salary Survey Basics
  • Digging into Salary Surveys
  • I Have the Data, Now What?

Evaluating Jobs to Determine Pay

Evaluating Jobs to Determine Pay

Learn about analyzing and documenting the jobs in the organization, then connect that information with market data. Benchmarking can be challenging, so this section covers how to consider a job's worth and its value to the organization as a means of determining pay.

  • Job Analysis for Market Comparison
  • Job Documentation
  • What Goes into Job Evaluation and Benchmarking
  • Criteria for Judging a Job's Worth and Value
  • How to Evaluate Jobs

Base Pay Structure Design

Base Pay Structure Design

Explore the concepts of pay range minimums, midpoints and maximums as they relate to range spread. This section also addresses the use of position in range and compa-ratios, as well as market-based pay structures and point-factor evaluation.

  • Base Pay Structure Basics
  • The Mechanics of Base Pay Design
  • Designing a Base Pay Structure
  • Pay Ranges and Compa-Ratios

Approaches to Delivering Base Pay

Approaches to Delivering Base Pay

This section covers the topics of fixed-rate and step-rate job-based pay, merit-pay approaches as well as how differential increases and decreases add another layer to the design. While an organization's base pay design may not fluctuate significantly, steps are shared on how to consistently monitor, maintain and evaluate the structures.

  • Job-Based Pay for Rigidly Defined Jobs
  • Merit Pay – Linking Pay to Performance
  • When and Why to Change Someone's Pay
  • Monitoring and Maintaining Pay Structures
  • Evaluating Your Base Pay Program



Catherine Peffen

Cathy Peffen is currently vice president, global compensation, benefits & HR services with Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp., the only publicly traded pure-play timeshare company. She has been with Marriott Vacations Worldwide since it was spun off from Marriott International in late 2011.

In her role as vice president, Peffen is responsible for developing the strategy and executing against it for HR Services ensuring the HR infrastructure can support the strategic growth goals of the company. This encompasses payroll services, data and systems administration, work environment, HR services (such as leave-of-absence administration, compliance, etc.), and vendor management. Cathy also leads the global compensation and benefits function, including executive compensation, ensuring that the programs and policies align with the long-term business strategy.

Prior to joining Marriott, Cathy was the HR manager for GE Financial Assurance, a division of GE Capital. Her background also includes nearly 30 years in HR, labor relations, compensation, benefits, employment and training in various financial services and insurance companies in Nashville, Tenn.; El Paso, Texas; Washington, D.C. and Orlando, Fla.

Cathy is an active speaker and trainer, and is a WorldatWork faculty member. Most recently, Cathy served as the chair of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Advisory Council and is past chair of the Compensation Advisory Council.

Course Credits

  • Recertification
    .25 Credits
  • CEUs
    .15 Course

More Information

Who Should Register

This training is designed for professionals who are new to compensation and need to quickly grasp the core concepts of compensation and base pay and understand the compensation team function within an organization. This training is also relevant for HR generalists who need an overview of compensation and base pay.

How to Register (Video Products)

  • Register Online (above)
  • Call 877-951-9191 (United States and Canada) or +1 480-922-2020 (other countries) for Customer Relationship Services.
  • Email customerrelations@worldatwork.org.
  • Fax Registration Form to 866-816-2962 (United States and Canada) or +1 480-483-8352 (other countries).

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