The Decline and Fall of “Pay for Performance”

[This article was originally published for the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association “Quick Notes” and can be found here.] Congratulations on your new hire. “Ron” looks to be a promising new employee. He came to you with a strong resume and enough relevant experience to suggest that he is the kind of employee you see […]

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Stop Gender Pay Inequity – Repeal (Part of) the Equal Pay Act

Well not all of it, of course.  Most of it, along with the other anti-discrimination laws, are crucial to fighting intentional discrimination.  However, one particularly nagging part of the Equal Pay Act actually enshrines “unintentional” discrimination.  It is all in 29 USC Section 206(d)1, a sentence that starts out really well by banning discrimination, but […]

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How Your Market-Based Pay Program Perpetuates Gender Pay Inequity

Some years ago, the compensation profession turned its back on the sensible pay programs that had been growing and evolving throughout the business world, and allowed itself to fall prey to vendors (primarily market pay data vendors, not surprisingly) who told them that “market-based” pay programs were the answer to all their needs.  In doing […]

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How You Perpetuate Gender Pay Inequity With Your Merit Program

Yes, you heard me correctly, your “bona fide” merit program perpetuates gender pay inequity.   It is not hard to figure out… if women take time out from the workforce, they will have fewer years of your 3% average merit increases, and given enough time, there will be a gap — even if you started […]

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HR Metrics – Ditch the “Compa-Ratio”

The “compa-ratio” is such a silly and deceptive “metric” that even not knowing much at 25 years old (longer ago than I care to admit) I could not bring myself to use it in a client report. HR practitioners, and the executives and managers they support, need metrics that really mean something, and for decades, […]

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gift wrapped cash

Incentives Don’t Work, Yet We Keep Using Them

For those who haven’t read Daniel Pink’s “Drive,” the best-selling book on what really motivates us today, make the time to do so, because it will illustrate to you quite clearly why it is time to stop wasting your precious time and resources on incentive programs that don’t work.  In fact, I’ll give you a challenge […]

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Compensation Surveys The Right Way — Don’t Make My Mistake

Originally posted on FQHC Compensation Resources from Merces:
Before I returned to Merces Consulting, I spent many years working on my own and raising my family.  During that time I managed to keep busy doing independent consulting, the majority of which was spent conducting market surveys for local hospitals and other compensation related activities.  In…

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2016 Resolution #8 – Ensure Base Pay is Predictable

Resolution #8 – Examine your base pay program from the perspective of employees, and ask yourself whether they can “predict” changes to their pay. For the vast majority of jobs, hourly wages or annual salaries make up most of total cash compensation.  While incentive compensation may be a motivator for some, base pay pays the […]

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2016 Resolution #7 – Link Performance Management Directly to the Job

Resolution #7 – Link performance management programs directly to the expectations of the job as outlined in effective job descriptions. We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating —  most people don’t like performance appraisals.  You can take your pick of these or many other reasons: It takes too long Parts of the forms aren’t […]

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2016 Resolution #6 – Pay People What they are Worth

Resolution #6 – Forget last year, general increases and the “what have you done for me lately merit increase” approach and refocus individual compensation adjustments on what people should be paid now based on the job and their performance. Back in the old days, there was something called the “free market.”  People were paid for […]

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