Highlights in Compensation Thought: Featuring The Compensation Cafe

Because I am a generalist by training and trade I have to work at keeping up on what is happening in compensation. I do so by reading one of my favorite blogs called Compensation Cafe. Created by Ann Bares, who also writes a personal comp blog called Compensation Force, it is a collection of posts from a team of experience compensation pros that Ann has enlisted to write on compensation topics. (Compensation Force is also published in Workforce Magazine’s online issue.)

While consistently good, lately there have been a couple of posts that are outstanding and I wanted to highlight a few of them.

First up is 77 Cents and Gender Discrimination: The Wrong Conclusion written by Stephanie R. Thomas. This is the best explanation of the wage gap between men and women that I have ever read. In my opinion this one blog post should be considered required reading, NOW, for all human resources professionals. Current legislation may be passed on the basis of what turns out to be an incorrect interpretation of data presented a 2007 article. In the classes I teach I often address the wage gap and mention that there are many factors that go into that gap beyond discrimination. This article gives me more concrete information to use in that discussion. By Stephanie’s review of the data it shows that the vast majority of the wage gap does NOT occur due to discrimination. However, the current proponents of the Paycheck Fairness Act would lead you to believe otherwise. Because this is an issue of immediate importance EVERY HR PRO needs to be well versed in this subject and needs to read this post NOW.

The second post I wanted to highlight is one written by Ann Bares herself. It is called Salary Ranges Must Die … and be Reborn. It is an excellent explanation of how the age old concept of salary ranges and budgeted increases no longer works in world of talent management. I have long had a problem with pay-for-performance being restricted by wage increase budgets. I am looking forward to Ann developing her concept to a greater extent. But I would check it out.

The third post I wanted to highlight is sandwiched in between the above two. Written by Laura Schroeder, Total Rewards Gurus – Where Are You?, the post discusses the relationship of non-cash incentives and employee engagement and how that fits into a total reward system. Ms. Schroeder wonders aloud why compensation specialist are not leading the charge in arena. The mix in any total reward system is important and research indicates that perhaps now is the time to change the mix. Interesting work.

So there you have it. Three great pieces to educate the rest of us “compensation dummies”. Check them out and put them on your reading list.

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