Talking with Laura Sejen about stagnant wages was a fascinating conversation and a terrific learning experience. She spoke passionately about the topic of stagnant wages, asking me to think about the extensive process of planning, delivering and communicating pay increases: Compensation managers plan the budget and deliver the numbers. Managers are asked to sit down with every employee to discuss individual increases … and for the past several years they’ve all fallen into the high 2% to low 3% range. In turn, employees are left dissatisfied.
Was all of the effort worth it? Is this the best that compensation professionals can do?
Sejen says no. It was a poignant moment in our conversation when she pointed out that any other total rewards system that had become so broken would have been redesigned. We’ve certainly seen it with other programs, yet the way pay — a fundamental piece of rewards — is delivered hasn’t changed in decades. There has to be a better way.
The timing for this piece, along with Tim Brown’s piece on salary data, couldn’t be better from my perspective: We’re gearing up to launch participation in our annual salary budget survey in the next month or two. While everyone can probably predict where the numbers will fall, participation from our members is critical. You never know when the tide will turn, and as a premier professional you want to make sure you’re in front of change.
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