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Yes, we're definitely still stuck in the paradigm that "compensation" equals "dollars" rather than compensation equals an important, integrated element of an overall value proposition to employees. Therefore, we look at the data through this more narrow lens primarily via external benchmarks.

I compare data to analytics as I do information to wisdom. And while the report shares that executives want this more sophisticated analysis (aka wisdom) to make better business decisions, I'll bet a lot of money that heads of Compensation functions are not getting the time, the resources, nor the funding/backing from those same executives to do the deep dives necessary. (I would be thrilled to be wrong and simply blame it on laziness or disinterest...)

Even before all of that, however, is as Haig suggests: "what is the question we're asking?" Because while executives may want certain analytics when they see it on a menu and think, "that sounds great!", the question I hear them usually ask is "how much does x company pay for y position?" And that's the question Compensation keeps answering. As I'm neck deep in my Masters thesis, I'm painfully aware of just how important crafting the question is in order to be able to accurately respond.

As many of our discussions do, the conversation gets back to how the Compensation function must be influential on, and integrated with the business and talent strategy so they can help build the deeper questions in advance to get the buy-in to be able to answer once the strategy is executed.


Great points and bottom line - thanks for sharing them here.

And good luck on that Masters thesis!


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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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