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Congratulations on the new Compensation Cafe blog! I hope it is everything you are looking for and more.


Thanks for your good wishes, and for stopping by and adding your comments. I appreciate having you as a reader, and a contributor to discussion, on both sites!

I'm the Comp Mgr for a relatively small Agricultural company. We have a profit sharing bonus program which is based on each job being entitled to a number of points & then at year end, assigned a value to what each point is worth. Because this company has grown from a very small company to one that is beginning to boom, we wanted to shift away from the points to a percentage of base pay model. The problem is that many longer term employees have an unusually high number of points (due to many reasons)and to shift them to a percentage of base would be a huge takeaway. Any ideas on how to proceed?
Stephanie Garrett


Sounds like an interesting program, but one that - over time - has become a reward for seniority rather than performance. With that, it probably makes sense to shift to a different model. It's difficult to provide very concrete advice without knowing the background and the details of your situation. But guessing that this is a change you will have to make eventually - and probably better sooner than later - you likely have two choices. 1) Rip the bandaid off all at once and try to mitigate the pain as well as you can, or 2) Identify your desired end state plan, and start a (more humane) 2-3 year migration in that direction, with the interim years reflecting some type of "hybrid approach" or "grandfathering". As you can probably guess, communication planning here will be absolutely, absolutely key on many fronts, including (but not limited to) clear explanation as to the business reasons that this change in bonus calcuation is necessary and clear information on the mechanics of the transition so employees have no potential to miss or misunderstand what is happening.

Again - tough to really be of help without knowing the specifics, but those are some quick off-the-top thoughts. Feel free to email me directly to discuss further. Best of luck - and thanks for stopping by!

Hi Ann,

I'm a compensation professional working on reviewing our current compensation plan and job families (internet/media organization). One component is developing our sales compensation and incentive plan for the folks who are tasked with selling ad space on the internet, interactive media (video games), etc... Can you share your thoughts on (1) what you've seen working, and not working, with sales comp/incentive plans in this technology industry and, (2) what's hot/emerging in this industry with respect to sales compensation trends as well as new skills that are emerging that should be taken into consideration during the job evaluation process? It's becoming a very crowded market in which I project on a few big companies/names will survive (i.e. Google, Yahoo (maybe)).


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About The Author

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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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