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Coming to Workspan in June/July


The June/July issue of Workspan will soon be hitting computers (and mailboxes)! Look for these compensation- and performance plan-focused topics, among others, in WorldatWork’s award-winning magazine.

Read the June/July 2019 issue now!


A Stock Performance Plan of the Future? Axon’s Plan Tests Employees’ Tolerance for Risk” by Brett Christie, WorldatWork

A lot of companies may talk a good game when it comes to taking extraordinary measures to motivate their workforce, but few align their employees to the CEO’s compensation plan.

Axon CEO Rick Smith and 300-plus employees are swinging for the fences with a bold, risk-reward equity plan. The eXponential Stock Performance Plan (XSPP) that could net Smith $1 billion in restricted stock options if all milestones are reached has changed the way he and his employees think about the business.

“I think the biggest effect it’s had is it made us start looking at long-term goals,” said Bryan Wheeler, Axon’s VP/Head of Records who opted into the XSPP. “Most people tend to be pretty incremental in products, so many more innovative ideas start to come out when you’re working toward something like this.”

The approach of offering a meaningful share ownership opportunity to all employees and future recruits “combines the employee-friendly concepts of broad-based equity plans with rigorous, shareholder-friendly growth criteria,” said Jon Burg, a partner with Aon Equity Services.


Shining a Light on Innovative Compensation: Is Your Comp Plan Playing It Too Safe? by Michael Thompson

Company boards are increasingly cautious about creating executive compensation plans that stray too far from traditional norms. The growing expectations of shareholder advisory firms — and more recently, large shareholders — as well as the looming potential for a failed say-on-pay vote, are curbing innovation when these plans are developed or updated. With so much at stake, it’s important that boards are confident that innovative compensation approaches are right for their organizations. This is particularly true for long-term incentive plans (LTIPs).

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis & Co. LLC both exert influence over say-onpay and other corporate governance issues, and institutional shareholders, including BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), are advocating for environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. ESG is an effective way to measure the strides management is making to advance human capital management (HCM) issues such as gender pay equity and inclusion and diversity policies.

Global Compensation Considerations” by Derrick P. Neuhauser and Kavita Maharaj

As companies continue to expand internationally, increasing market share, growing profits and developing low-cost production centers have become leading corporate goals. The need for a long-term vision on a global strategy has never been more important — and developing a smart compensation plan to support that strategy is a central component of corporate success. 

Companies looking to expand their global footprint must wrap their arms around the complexity and multifaceted nature of compensation and incentive design. All too often, however, we see companies merely replicate their headquartered company policies as they expand. Over time, these policies can create concerns with internal pay equity, adverse performance achievement, retention and, ultimately, profitability.

This article tackles some of the complexities of global pay practices and policies to help you make more informed decisions as you consider international expansion.


Job Description Precision” by Josh Miller

The question comes in many forms, and we either ask it or answer it all the time:

  • What do you do for a living?
  • What do you do for work?
  • Or the simplest version: What do you do?

The answers tend to vary. For some of us, our title is enough to adequately explain what we do to a stranger. We’re not all that lucky though, and some of us have to be creative to explain what we do in a 30-second soundbite.

Job descriptions are an unpleasant, yet necessary evil in most organizations. I’ve never met anyone who enjoys job descriptions in any way. They aren’t enjoyable to read. They are less enjoyable to write.  Yet so many critical activities in organizations rely on good job descriptions.


“Capturing the Data of Well-Being” by Stephanie N. Rotondo, WorldatWork

In the business world, it’s all about data. Data drives almost every decision made in an organization, even down to selecting which size paper clips to buy.

So what happens when data is more subjective than objective?

When it comes to implementing or continuing well-being programs, companies find themselves in this predicament. While companies can look to certain data points, a fair portion of the data is anecdotal. At that point, the question becomes: How do we prove that this program has value?

Bringing Up Baby — And Your Organization’s ‘Wow’ Factor by Mark Athitakis, WorldatWork

After Jennifer Patterson had a baby, she took advantage of a work program that allowed parents to bring their infants to the office for their first six months.

The benefit had a bemusing side effect. “Some people who never had the opportunity to bring their babies to work also enjoy that as a benefit that we have, because it’s really nice to be able to go hold a baby for a few minutes,” said Patterson, human resources director of GL Group, a St. Louis-based educational company. “I was surprised how much time I didn’t actually have with my baby because everybody else wanted to hold her.”

Of course, there are more consequential advantages from such a program for employees, especially women. Beyond the sense of camaraderie and savings on day care-costs, programs such as on-site child care, in vitro fertilization (IVF) coverage and lactation accommodations have played an important role in attracting and retaining workers in an increasingly competitive space.


Operation Data Protection” by Tom Starner, WorldatWork

Technology in today’s workplace is about, among other things, making life easier for everyone. By using today’s creative tech tools, employees will be more engaged and productive, and corresponding positive bottom-line results will follow — or so the theory goes.

In many ways, tech tools are, in fact, making things easier and producing better results.

Yet when it comes to creating effective technology use policies, making the wrong moves can get in the way of progress, opening a proverbial Pandora’s box of legal and other problems — especially with the exposure of sensitive customer and employee data. With social media, email, instant messaging and other data-rich communications on the rise, experts and human resources leaders say a thoughtful approach to getting it right is essential.

So when it comes to managing employee use of technology at work in an effort to maintain data security, what’s a CHRO to do?

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