The term “one size fits all” would seem to imply something inclusive. You would think that it would be able to accommodate everything, and would work well in every possible situation. But there’s a certain rigidity there, an inability to take certain factors into account which fall outside of what its designers intended. A hat or a watch which claim to fit all may not fit someone, or it may fit imperfectly. The same is true for business, and in particular compensation management systems. It’s important to find a solution which is full configured and tailored to your organization’s needs.
Let’s say you’re a global organization, a decentralized organization, or an organization with a complex pay/merit structure. Is a one-size-fits-all approach going to suit your needs? Let’s say you’re using a spreadsheet to organize compensation and merit data. How are you going to accommodate for different merit rewards (lump-sum bonuses, percent increases of salary, etc)? You’re going to have to perform all sorts of calculations in order to keep track of your merit budgets. Or let’s say you get a compensation management system in place, but it doesn’t accommodate some of the more specialized ways which you compensate your employees.
When you’re searching for a compensation management system, you need to work with the vendor in order to discern whether or not their solutions can fit your organization’s needs. Can their system accommodate all of the data you need to work with in order to calculate merit increases, merit rewards and salary increases? Additionally, how can this data interact so that you can easily keep tabs on what’s changing when you manipulate certain variables. All systems will be able to do basic calculations but what about approvals, user management and custom compensation statements?
Ideally their solution is customizable enough that they can tailor it to work specifically for you. How you want it to look, to how many classes of employee you need it to handle, what language it’s in, what currencies it can handle, what kinds of rewards and incentives it can track, how many people can access it, and more should all be customized to do exactly what your organization needs it to. The goal with a compensation management system is to streamline workflows and simplify the compensation process, so it shouldn’t be creating any new problems for you to deal with. Basically, it should adapt to fit your pay structure – you shouldn’t have to adapt your pay programs to fit into it.
But then again, the need for customization is why you’re looking for such a solution in the first place. Because if your pay structure was simple enough to be adequately serviced by a one-size-fits-all solution, it would probably be cheaper and more prudent to just use a spreadsheet. The fact that you need a compensation management system implies a complicated compensation process, so you need to make sure that you get a system that’s advanced enough to handle it. Find a solution which can fit every aspect of your organization’s compensation and rewards structure, and don’t settle for one-size-fits-all.