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Why Do We Fight Against Gender Pay Equity?

Twenty-five years ago, I worked for a local employers association.  One of the “hottest-button” issues we faced, and what we continually fought to “protect” our members from, was the evil boogie-man of “comparable worth.”  The concept was evil, of course, because it originated on the labor side rather than management side, from protesters rather than […]

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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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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 #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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2016 Resolution #5 – Move From General to Individual Pay Management

Resolution #5 – Eliminate “across the board adjustments” and move to individual adjustments. Let’s just lay this out on the table – “across the board adjustments,” “general increases,” and “cost-of-living adjustments,” in the absence of a way of compensating for employee growth and performance – are simply a very bad idea.  While this may not […]

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2016 Resolution #3 – Increase Emphasis on Internal Equity

Resolution #3 – Reduce your reliance on market data in favor of an effective internal equity program. Let’s face it.  The human resources and employee compensation profession has lost its focus, as well as much of its credibility, in favor of the lure of gimmicks and black box internet technologies.  Over the last two years, […]

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Take Care with Recruiter Data in Compensation Planning

Just a few weeks back, one of our clients called us in, well, not quite a panic, but certainly with a bit of concern.  The subject?  The cost of hiring new accounting graduates was expected to increase nearly 5% for the spring of 2016. “Were we able to confirm this?” For accounting firms, this is […]

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2016 Resolution #2 – Take Compensation Off the Table

Resolution #2 – Build a program that will take compensation off the table — effectively making it a non-issue rather than a bone of contention. In his best-selling business book “Drive,” Daniel Pink makes a compelling argument that it is essential to “take compensation off the table.”  That means that you need a compensation program […]

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2016 Resolution #1 – Educate Key Players on Compensation

Resolution #1 for 2016 – Educate all of the key players in your organization about how employee compensation works, and how it should be used to improve organizational performance. Moving to a more effective compensation program will improve performance throughout the organization, but Human Resources may be challenged in showing how the rest of the […]

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