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Kind of disagree, I think, in concept, at least. Yes, it's nice to have uniformity and symmetry, but reality ain't made that way. Jack-booted ironclad inflexible midpoints and their differentials can mask the truth about competitive market changes. Job value changes in the real world are like people riding up a series of side by side escalators moving at different speeds going to and from different levels. Nice, if you can take a snapshot from the side showing the relative positions "height-wise" of all the passengers at a given moment, but over time, those relative positions will alter. The grade-range midpoints (and I despise that term, preferring "job value" because it may not be best administered at a "mid"point) and their differentials should simply supply a measurement scale like a yardstick rather than be considered a unique benchmark created according to any particular set of jobs. When heights change, you don't change your measurement scale, you just show the different values. Think of ocean waves... sometimes a job bobs at a 10 foot level above the bottom, sometimes at 7 feet, sometimes at 12 feet... when the tide changes, the overall level may generally rise an arbitrary approximately similar amount but the standard deviation of specific elements will continue and may become increasingly different if the wind picks up. Ranges should be scalar values for relative reference measurement, not carrying any implication that the current classification matches against midpoints are immutable fixed permanent relationships expected to move in lock-step steady progression. Even with the most symmetrical uniform system like you seem to recommend, you STILL have to realize that some jobs will always be outliers, moving either slower or faster than the norm and thus requiring periodic reclassification to a more appropriate grade. Hope this is clear.


I don't know - as I read over your comment, I think we may be more in agreement than not.

I agree that real world job values do not follow a uniform and symmetrical path, either in market worth or in relationship to each other. That, to me, is why it seems silly to take a snapshot of their current inter-relationships and create a structure which precisely reflects this, as if it were going to move in lock-step forward from this point (rather than mutate into a whole new set of inter-relationships and value differences).

Rather, I like your concept of an independent measurement scale - like a yardstick - against which we can periodically assess them. To me, a structure with consistent midpoint differentials supplies us with that independent measurement scale. It is this independent measurement scale, then, that allows us to apply salary administration policies and practices in a consistent and - hopefully - equitable way.

Whaddya think?

Well stated. We are in complete agreement.

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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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