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I agree that employees want to know that there is a meaningful system in place. As an employee, I do too. I equate meaningful with equitable, transparent, and understood. Compensation decisions that seemingly occur behind closed doors really do chip away at trust in an organization. When I was gradeless, we shared our hierarchy of positions with employees. I sat down with groups of employees and reviewed salary data and methodology. This was a small company and I was able to do that. Would I be able to do that in a larger one? Maybe, but not sure. Grading of positions is just one piece of a complete compensation philosophy. I agree that grades do provide a meaningful way to frame a compensation program, but, are they the only way?

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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