Compensation management can be a tricky business, one that requires vigilance and a great deal of effort to stay ahead of the game. We all wish that cooking up the right compensation strategy would work something like a slow cooker – you throw all of your ingredients into the pot, season it to taste, turn it on, and let it run while you get on with the rest of your day. Then when you get home, you have a delicious stew or chili and can enjoy the fruits of your (admittedly minimal) labor.
That would be nice, though a bit boring, wouldn’t it? The reality of the situation lies on the opposite end of the spectrum though. In order to truly get the most out of your compensation mix, you’ve got to keep an eye on each aspect of it to make sure something doesn’t curdle or boil over. You need to be able to identify what’s working, what isn’t, and even predict what will be the best fit going forward.
The fact of the matter is that nothing in life stays the same. Time moves onward, rivers erode rocks into canyons, glaciers carve their way through mountains, and fortunes come and go like the tides. And as you’re no doubt aware, the world of business especially doesn’t stay the same. What works for your organization today may not be what works tomorrow. And that doesn’t just mean compensation strategy – organization, structure, goals, all are subject to change in order to adapt to the constantly evolving world of business.
So how do you manage to stay ahead of the curve? How can you keep your compensation strategy fresh? It may seem impossible, but luckily you’ve got one of the most powerful tools at your disposal – all you need to do is learn how to use it, and use it well.
That tool is data.
When it comes to compensation management, it’s imperative that you have the right data to help you strategize. Data can show you what is working, what isn’t working, what has worked in the past, and can even allow you to make informed predictions rather than just taking a shot in the dark and hoping you hit the bulls-eye.
And while the analysis of data can be difficult, the last thing you need is to make the collection and organization of said data more difficult than it needs to be. Keep it organized and usable, and you’ll be able to utilize it more efficiently than trying to piece together a coherent picture from disparate spreadsheet files and reports.
Getting the most out of compensation management requires vigilance. It requires knowing your numbers and being able to work with them. But if you don’t have them organized, and if they’re not put together in a format that’s understandable, you’re making things far harder than they need to be.