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I think the premise is entirely wrong...

"Retention breeds seniority and bureaucracy. Innovation requires youth and inexperience."

I find it ageist to suggest that only the youth can have a beginners mind or that youth somehow bestow innovation upon a person.

The issue is a culture that reinforces stability and "non-boat-rocking" - and that is what you get with "senior" employees - they've been beaten up every time they try to innovate.

Don't blame age - blame a system that doesn't value innovation. Once again we go to the easy solution (age) instead of the real problem (culture.)

Just one old man who innovates regularly and hates to follow rules. (the except that demolishes the rule.)


Agree completely about the youth/age point. My reason to include John's quote was the points he made exclusive of that one. Probably would have been smarter for me to stop at "bureaucracy." But I went ahead and ran the whole paragraph.

The purpose of my post was to note that pay is both an expression of culture and a reinforce of culture -- and can serve to cement in place a culture that (as you say) reinforces stability and non-boat-rocking. It can also send signals that run counter to an organization's efforts to change its culture and to, as an example, encourage skill and capability development.

Appreciate the comment -- right there with you on that.

Agree totally - pay is a signaling mechanism - good and bad. Golden handcuffs are not always what is needed. Good post Ann - gonna be in MN in October for MNSHRM - we should make an effort to connect after 8 years IRL!

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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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