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Uh... hmmm... are you and Andy implying, Ann, that people are NOT already doing this all the time? Shocked. I am shocked.


I think Andy's point, which I wanted to bring to this discussion, is - given that we know people are already shopping, could there be benefits to all for creating an open and transparent process. I wanted to look at his question from the standpoint of the benefits of an open reward reset.



Not crazy but a recipe for disaster.

One can "reset" the relationship more amicably if disengagement has not already resulted from the alternate offer search. Encouraging folks to look elsewhere simply whets their appetite for bigger and better things ALWAYS available somewhere else. This process is a blatant admission that the HR function has failed or simply doesn't exist. The compensation department is supposed to carefully track outside competitive rates. The HR person in charge of personnel development (and the individual supervisor) is charged with providing effective career path planning guidance and personal growth counseling. I'll stop there.

The "formal" process smacks of solicitations for counteroffers. Just yesterday, six of the top comp people in the nation agreed that none of us had ever seen anyone stick around more than a year after receiving a counteroffer. Employers don't like to be blackmailed into doing what is right that they should have been doing on their own initiative in the first place.

Enterprises that do this regularly, ranging from sports teams to movie studios, end up with an essentially disengaged work force dedicated to personal self-interest and with minimal organizational commitment. It also guarantees the most expensive payroll for the outfit who encourages workers to seek higher bids and better deals. It might be ideal for the individual but it seems to mean death to the organization because it is corrosive to whatever mutual loyalties and commitments that now exist.

How would this work in a marriage? Think about it. The same arguments exist on both sides.


Good points, all with merit. And yet, I still feel that there is merit in this concept. Not a blanket, one-size-fits-all-works-this-way-in-all-cases kind of merit, but the germ of an idea from which some organizations, based on their particular talent needs and challenges, could pull some valuable insights and potential practice direction. Perhaps with more emphasis on resetting and reaffirmation (not always bad in a marriage either) and less on shopping around.

Just thoughts - thanks for sharing yours.

I’m thinking about Andy’s point that “The employee shops their skills around to competitor organizations to get a true sense of their value”. Very active point, it is right that we always want to become upgrade from other competitors and try to find out our true value of employment.

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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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