Close
Learning Methods
Classroom
A traditional classroom couples on-site learning with the added value of face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers. With courses and exams scheduled worldwide, you will be sure to find a class near you.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via face-to-face
Components (May Include)
Onsite
On-site instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available two weeks prior to the course start date; printed course materials ship directly to the event location
Duration
One + Days
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple days
Technical Needs
Specific requirements are clearly noted on the course page
Virtual Classroom
Ideal for those who appreciate live education instruction, but looking to save on travel. A virtual classroom affords you many of the same learning benefits as traditional–all from the convenience of your office.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire virtual classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via online environment
Components (May Include)
Live online instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available up to one week prior to the course start date. Recorded playback and supplemental materials available up to seven days after the live event.
Duration
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple sessions
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Phone line access
E-Learning
A self-paced, online learning experience that allows you to study any time of day. Course material is pre-recorded by an instructor and you have the flexibility to view content modules as desired.
Interaction
Independent Learning
Components (May Include)
Pre-Recorded
Pre-recorded course modules
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, online quizzes
E-course materials are available online within one business day of purchase
Optional purchased print material ships within 7 business days
Duration
120 Days - Anytime
120-day access to e-course materials available online within one business day from the date of purchase
Direct access to all components
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Close
Contact Sponsor
E-Reward
Online
Paul Thompson
Phone: 1 44 01614322584
Contact by Email | Website
Close
Sorry, you can't add this item to the cart.
You have reached the maximum allowed quantity for purchase in your cart or the item isn't available anymore.
Product successfully added to your cart!
Price
View your cart
Continue shopping
Please note our website will be down this Friday, November 5 from 9pm ET – 11pm ET for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
WORKSPAN
WORKSPAN DAILY |

Hammers, Nails and Compensation Biases

0505-CompCafe-Biases_780w.jpg

Editor’s Note: Workspan Daily will be reproducing a monthly Compensation Café blog post for the benefit of our readers and to encourage further discourse on topics vital to compensation professionals. New to WorldatWork? Please feel free to join the discussion in our new online community, Engage, or send your thoughts to workspan@worldatwork.org.

It's called the law of the instrument. The concept is said to have originated with philosopher Abraham Kaplan, who said “I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.”  

The more popular version comes from Abraham Maslow's The Psychology of Science (1966) and is typically presented as "If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

Sound familiar? It ought to. The law of the instrument is alive and well in the field of compensation, compliments of the biases we all hold.

Let's start with the more general bias, that compensation is the fix for every organizational challenge. Turnover an issue? Pay them more! Engagement a problem? Pay them more!  Employees not meeting performance standards? Put in an incentive plan (a.k.a. pay them more ... but on a variable basis!)

Never mind taking the time to understand and clearly define the problem so that we can ascertain the best solution. Pound that hammer and move on!

Sometimes the general bias is ours. Whether through lack or experience, maturity or confidence, we simply respond to situations with the tool we have most readily available. Other times, we encounter bias in the leaders we are trying to serve or advise. They want the quick fix; they don't want some HR or compensation professional digging around in their area for information or answers. Backs up against the wall, we give them what they want.  And when it doesn't work, they rail against us for our lousy pay plan, which fails to fix a problem that had nothing to do with money in the first place.

Then, there are the more specific biases we have toward a particular compensation approach or choice, either because we've had great success with it in the past or just because we find it intellectually appealing. It may be a particular affection for broadbands, for group incentives or for skill-based pay.   

It may be a specific metric that we believe belongs in every sales compensation plan, regardless of the circumstances. It may even be that we think 360-degree feedback is always the right, or always the wrong thing to do. It may be a smaller, more finely tuned hammer, but we swing it just as indiscriminately.

The bottom line is, we all have our biases. The trick is to be aware of them, be open to understanding the unique business and people reality in every organizational challenge and be willing to explore other possibilities beyond pounding something with our favorite hammer.

About the Author

Ann Bares.png

Ann Bares is the founder and editor of Compensation Café and managing partner of Altura Consulting Group LLC

This article was first published at Compensation Café on April, 27, 2022. 


About WorldatWork

WorldatWork is a professional nonprofit association that sets the agenda and standard of excellence in the field of Total Rewards. Our membership, signature certifications, data, content, and conferences are designed to advance our members’ leadership, and to help them influence great outcomes for their own organizations.

About Membership

Membership provides access to practical resources, research, emerging trends, a professional network, and career-building education and certification. Learn more and join today.