Having faced this dilemma time and again in numerous conversations., I always wondered what causes a Comp Manager/Rewards professional to be in a situation where he/she has to make such a choice. When I talk to employees and employers separately, what stands out is how different their expectations are. The table below summarizes some key perspectives I have heard over and over again.
Table: Difference in Perspective
Clearly, both employers and employees expect vastly different things. This is how the dynamics in the employment market work. Both employees and employers have a very different take, in fact almost opposing views, on compensation. Who wins is decided by the market situation. When it is an “employer’s market” (like in 2008-09) when jobs are hard to come by, employer’s dictate the terms. When it is “employee’s market”, like today, where growth is hampered by the availability of talent, employees dictate the term. The market dynamic determines where the line is drawn. It is no surprise therefore that the Comp Manager has to manage this delicate balance and need to constantly evaluate his/her choice. The good news though, is that both employers and employees cannot exist in isolation. They need each other for a survival. A Comp Manager’s role is to understand the delicate balance and act accordingly. The adjustment is continuous and not one time. He/she is a healthy link between employees and employers. The role is at a unique vantage point to understand where the ‘noise’ in compensation system is coming from and to make the right choices.
(The views expressed herein are the author's own and do not represent any organization or association)