As human beings, we’re wired to favor organization over chaos. The process of taking complex objects and systems, putting them in groups, and fitting them together in such a way that simplifies and makes them more manageable is something we’ve been doing since antiquity. Think about it – when you organize your office, or a cluttered room in your house, you get a sense of satisfaction because everything is in its right place.
But organization has more tangible benefits than simply being pleasing. In the world of compensation management especially, proper organization has numerous significant upsides. It can expedite workflows and ensure proper allocation of compensation and merit budgets, minimizing mistakes and thus conserving time, money, and effort – as well as your own sanity!
One of these benefits is psychological, yet still profound. Staring at a mass of unorganized data can make a task seem much more daunting that it actually is. Not only does this raise your stress levels, but it may also make you put off this responsibility until the last possible minute due to the dread associated with it. This amplifies your stress over the project exponentially, making your life and work much more difficult than they need to be. By having all of the data organized in manageable chunks, you can eliminate the dread associated with the compensation process.
Proper organization can also help you save time, also. Think about a surgeon – in the operating room, their tools are always meticulously organized. They have to be, so they can be retrieved at a moment’s notice with little to no thought involved in tracking them down. Their job, which is about as high-stress as an occupation can be, requires concentration and fast decision-making because the line between life and death may very well hinge on a matter of seconds. And while compensation management’s stakes may not be as dire, knowing where each specific piece of data is located eliminates the need to comb through files looking for it, which eliminates stress and streamlines the process.
Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of proper organization, you may be asking yourself how you can better organize your compensation data in order to reap the most benefits. Here are a few simple organizational tips to help you out.
-If you have a project which is complicated and frustrating, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks and tackle them one-by-one. This way you don’t have to worry about which angle to attack the project from, and you have a tangible sense of progress as you tick each task off of your list.
-As you receive new pieces of information and data, be sure to put them in their proper place immediately. Having a few uncategorized items may not seem like that big of a deal at first, but much like snowflakes they have a tendency to accumulate into something significant and menacing. It’s best to take care of them when they’re still miniscule.
-Think about how your organization is structured in terms of compensation – whether that’s by location, position, employee grouping, or whatever other metric you may use. Section these areas off from one another, making a note of the systems and criteria which are used to compensate these different groups. Include all relevant data so that when you go in to calculate compensation for these employees, everything you need to know is already there waiting for you.
-If you’re using a spreadsheet to organize and manage compensation data, be very careful regarding user input errors! Even the smallest mistake can set the entire structure askance, forcing you to have to trawl through your documents looking for where the mistake was made.
If you’ve tried organizing your data and things are still too complicated to complete the compensation process in a timely fashion, or if you have a vast number of employees to wrangle into your system, it might be time to try something else. If the compensation process still seems too daunting after organizing everything as best you can, you may want to consider investing in a compensation management tool.