Compensation and Sensitivity
Posted on January 6, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
When organizations start talking about compensation with employees, what happens? There can be good and positive reactions and there can also be dissatisfaction and the need to be sensitive to how employees feel.
2013 has begun and I anticipate the phone calls next week when employees receive their first paycheck of the new year only to find there check has shrunk. Although a deal was made with the fiscal cliff, employees’ paychecks will still see a decrease. I have already been coached how to handle these calls and the key is to be sensitive. I may have been tracking the cliff’s updates, but that does not mean everyone else has.
Each year organizations face compensation decisions. While decisions may make sense on paper and pencil, sometimes we forget to step back and think about how employees will be impacted. After all, most of us take pay decisions very seriously and tension can be created when we feel that we are not being compensated fairly or equally.
What is the best way to talk about compensation with employees? Follow these quick tips and you can help prevent hard feelings:
Be honest. There is nothing worse as an employee as the feeling that your organization is holding something back. After all, you want your employees to trust their organization. Trust is key in retaining employees.
Dumb it down. You know when you’re in the doctor’s office and they start using big words and you have no clue what they are saying? Well, the same thing can happen when organizations start using big or unfamiliar words leaving employees clueless. Try presenting to someone outside of your organization and profession such as a friend or family member. If they can’t understand what you are saying, maybe you should take a look again at how you present updates to employees.
Give concrete details. Saying, “Well, we think this is what we’ll do in the next few months, but it may change” can leave employees feeling frustrated. Why tell employees about a change if it is not 100% certain?
How does your organization handle compensation decisions?