Editor's Note: This week we kick off our Thought Leader series and feature Anne C. Ruddy, CCP, CPCU. Anne is President of WorldatWork and its affiliate organizations, Alliance for Work-Life Progress and WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals. Under Anne’s leadership, WorldatWork created the Total Rewards Model being used by the human resources and total rewards departments of some of the largest organizations worldwide today.
Compensation Force: What led you to choose (or land in) a career featuring the field of rewards?
Anne Ruddy: I wish I could say I was more deliberate and strategic but, in reality, this career chose me. After a long career in financial services, I was looking for an opportunity to do something more personally satisfying and challenging. I was contacted by an executive recruiter who told me about an HR association looking for a transformational leader. When I reviewed the association’s mission and vision, it resonated with me so I accepted.
Compensation Force: What person and their ideas/teaching/writing has had a significant influence on your thinking and your work?
Anne Ruddy: This may seem irreverent, but I have been influenced more about what not to do and how not to be by many former bosses. As a result of observing their behaviors, reactions and outcomes, I think I have been better able to shape my approach to leadership and people management. My job at WorldatWork is to maximize the investment return on the human part of our capital. I believe there are four types of capital – financial, physical and time but it’s the human part of capital that is the proprietary asset of any organization.
Compensation Force: Is there a book you’d recommend to others in the reward field that has impacted your thinking and your work?
Anne Ruddy: I would highly recommend all the books published by WorldatWork Press, of course!
But seriously, one of the books I come back to time and time again is “The Extraordinary Leader” by John Zenger and Joseph Folkman. I also love almost anything by Marshall Goldsmith. These authors make you start your work inside yourself and then help you apply it to your company’s talent. And speaking of talent, I am always on a relentless hunt for talent. Talent innovators are always looking for people, and at the people within their organizations, who are bigger than the organization is at present. They are looking for people who can pull the organization toward them as opposed to just sitting back and watching the organization grow.
Compensation Force: Looking to the future, what trend or development do you think will significantly impact the reward profession and those of us working in it?
Anne Ruddy: At WorldatWork, we pride ourselves on being able to anticipate what reward professionals need to be more effective. Many discussions with senior leaders about the field have led us to conclude that this profession will become even more demanding and specialized. The sophistication of reward programs will also continue to gain momentum and the entire concept of the employment value proposition will change. Earlier this year, we introduced the Certified Sales Compensation Professional designation. We believe the CSCP designation will help increase HR’s relevance to the sales function, ultimately allowing HR to be viewed as an equal partner with sales and finance in strategic decision making. And with the unabated scrutiny on executive rewards that we have seen in recent years, we launched a Certified Executive Compensation Professional designation this year. Unlike our other certification programs (CCP, CBP, GRP and WLCP) which are curriculum based, both the CSCP and CECP designations are achieved by passing one comprehensive exam based on the relevant body of knowledge.
Compensation Force: What are you currently working on?
Anne Ruddy: We are bringing education about the total rewards model to other parts of the world. Over the past three years, we have significantly expanded our global presence, recognizing that reward issues are both global and local at the same time. There is a hunger to understand U.S. reward practices especially in Asia where we see an emerging workforce that is becoming sophisticated and curious about practices like workplace flexibility.
We’re also watching how people are learning and how WorldatWork can adapt our approach to education to give HR professionals more ways to get the information they need to do be more effective in their roles.
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Our special thanks to Anne for helping kick off the Compensation Force Thought Leader series and taking the time to share some of her history, thoughts and ideas with us today!
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