As your business grows and scales, the facts and figures you look at can differ daily. It can be easy to get bogged down with data that plays a critical role in your company, potentially missing opportunities to improve the heart of your operations. Compensation is one area that you can’t afford to overlook. 

A compensation strategy considers all angles of compensation and performance. It extends beyond monetary concessions and focuses on a holistic approach to serve your employees better. In this post, we’ll examine the steps necessary to develop a compensation strategy that will work now and in the future.

Why is Having a Compensation Strategy Important?

Similar to the buyer’s and seller’s markets that are known to dominate real estate, some economic conditions tend to favour job seekers who are looking for a position that suits their needs. That could be hybrid work conditions, a robust benefits package, improved bonus opportunities, or a fair salary. Without a compensation strategy, your package stays stagnant, which could potentially lead to key employees searching for job opportunities elsewhere. Or, it might create an environment of quiet quitting where staff don’t feel valued or motivated to do their best work. 

Dedicating time to understanding your current compensation options and how they can be improved shows you care and want to invest in your employees. It also means your company is more attractive to top talent, who may be looking for a compensation upgrade compared to their current positions.

What are the Different Types of Compensation Strategies?

When determining an effective compensation strategy, you must consider both direct and indirect options. 

Direct compensation:

  • Focuses on the monetary aspect or take-home pay. 
  • This could be calculated based on salary or commissions and also includes bonuses.

Indirect compensation:

  • Less fiscally tangible.
  • It includes aspects such as benefits, PTO, training credits, flexible scheduling, or equity in the company.

To remain competitive, many industries focus on indirect compensation as a way to entice new recruits and retain existing talent. However, it’s imperative that any compensation strategy focuses on direct and indirect aspects to provide the utmost value.

The Role of Data

Data-driven decision-making plays an important role in your compensation strategy. Take the time to identify trends, predict future needs, and analyze the effectiveness of current strategies. By understanding the intricate details that make up the big picture, you can make informed decisions that benefit employees. 

Key Considerations and Best Practices

The road to a concrete compensation strategy will look different for every organization. Some industries have unique considerations, while others can be more flexible about the options they implement. Here are some tips that can help you accurately determine the framework for the strategy that will work best for your team.

Determine Your Compensation Philosophy

Start by defining your organization’s approach to compensation, which may include factors such as market competitiveness, internal equity, and performance-based pay. Expand to consider the importance of indirect compensation, what is it that your company values when it comes to employees? Consider work-life balance, productivity, and how to show staff that the business they work for cares about them.

Conduct Market Research

Conduct research on industry standards and benchmarks for compensation, including salaries, benefits, and paid time off (PTO). This will help ensure that your organization’s compensation packages are competitive and attractive to potential employees but also reinforce your commitment to existing staff who continue to drive the business forward.

Consider Internal Equity

Ensure that the compensation structure is fair and equitable across all levels of your company. Consider factors such as job duties, responsibilities, and required skills when determining compensation levels. This can also be the time to better understand the long-term incentive plan (LTIP) needs of C-suites and other management levels.

Assess Performance Management

Incorporating performance management practices into your compensation strategy can encourage employees to perform at their best. Consider measures like setting goals, providing feedback, and conducting regular performance evaluations through performance software. This will ensure that compensation is tied to performance, making a greater impact on your organization overall.

Communicate the Compensation Strategy

Relaying the information to employees is one of the most important best practices in formulating a compensation strategy. They want to know how compensation is determined, what factors are considered, and what opportunities for advancement exist. So give them those answers. A comprehensive look at the compensation structure can be best presented through a self-serve employee portal. This space is meant to educate employees on the full value of their compensation or total rewards package, providing them with an in-depth look at scenario modelling while promoting transparency.

Complete Regular Evaluations and Updates

The best compensation strategies are fluid. They account for changing markets, shifting hierarchical structures, and consider opportunities to attract talent. Review and update the compensation strategy regularly to ensure it remains competitive, equitable, and aligned with your organization’s goals and objectives.

How CompTrak Can Help

When determining how to develop a compensation strategy, it can feel like you’ll have to add significantly to your workload. But that doesn’t need to be the case. CompTrak’s compensation software is designed to work with you on the features that matter most, thoughtfully compiling data and metrics to ensure you can make decisions that turn a framework into a working strategy. To learn more about how we can help form your compensation strategy, book a demo with us.