Lets face it: compensation management is not exactly the sexiest of topics these days within most organizations. For many, the very thought of compensation management tends to provoke images of bean counters working tirelessly on their calculators, noodling every nickel and dime. I personally envision a large, poorly lit room full of very serious people that for some unknown reason are all wearing sweater vests. Even within HR, the most “fun and exciting” topics these days are mostly along the talent engagement, social learning and recruiting lines with pervasive video, configurable collaborative workspaces and embedded analytics.
Despite the organizational “stigma,” compensation managers should also feel excited about what the future holds for them. Specifically, social engagement tools can be an important asset for improving communication and saving time in almost all of the day-to-day compensation management processes and requirements they are tasked with. They might even turn out to be fun too.
Let’s take a look at a couple exciting examples:
• Existing Compensation Plans. Compensation calculations are often difficult to understand. They are usually based on a multitude of factors, such as corporate and individual performance, short-term and long-term compensation agreements, benefits versus financial rewards, etc. Once a compensation plan has been executed, explaining the nuances behind a reward or merit, and doing so repetitively, can be a time-consuming and difficult task. Compensation managers would thus benefit from using tools, such as videos and interactive forums to automate this process – a “learn before you transact” methodology. Compensation calculation videos could be provided to the organization on an as needed basis, relieving the burden of time from these professionals. Similarly, interactive forums can empower employees of all types to help each other understand the process and how it works.
• Future Compensation Plans. In effective HR departments, professionals are thinking about the future at the same time they are managing the present. Compensation managers are no exception. At the same time these executives are executing compensation plans, they must also make sure that future plans are clear, concise and engage both employees and managers in a timely basis. This, again, is where social media tools, such as videos and forums, can be helpful. Information that is not germane to the employee can be recorded and dispersed for mass consumption. And, similar to above, it can be done on a role-based strategy, allowing for a more informed employee, and a more informed manager, without sacrificing large amounts of compensation staff resources.
• Corporate Performance and its Affect on Compensation. In most organizations, corporate financial performance plays a huge role in compensation plan execution. However, understanding corporate performance and how it relates to individual compensation plans can be a daunting task. For this reason, compensation managers might want to tag-team with finance managers to make those answers known to employees via video or some other mode of social engagement.
One of the most important parts of compensation management for employees and managers alike is to avoid surprises. This is accomplished by providing these professionals with all of the information they need to understand their compensation plans and how they are likely to evolve over time. To get there, compensation managers would be wise to embrace forms of socially-enabled media that not only provide relevant information to employees, but also serve as a sounding board to different ideas that encourage interaction. The fun, new image of compensation managers that is created by using these engaging social tools can just be viewed as a non-monetary bonus. Yes, that was compensation humor.