The Lazy CEO Podcast

Fair Compensation

by Dec 5, 2022The Lazy CEO Podcast

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The Fair Compensation Episode at a Glance:

  • What is Fair Compensation?
  • What is Job Banding and why is it important?
  • Incentive plans for various organizational roles.
  • Equity adjustments for competitive compensation.
  • Benefits that you must have to be competitive.

In this episode…

Jim Schleckser, The CEO Project, and Kim Conklin, KC Consulting, debate the merits of compensation and incentive plans. Listen to this Podcast for entertaining bantering between Jim and Kim as they navigate this extremely important and relevant topic – fair compensation.

What does Fair Compensation mean? It means when employees look internally, other people that do more or less the job I do are paid more or less what I’m paid. And when I look outside, people that do more or less what I do make more or less what I make. 90 something percent of the population feel they are paid fairly for their effort, for their skills, experience, background, knowledge, etc. Where that sometimes runs into trouble – people that are fully coin operated, meaning they are all about maximizing their personal income and they will pound you. It doesn’t matter where they are relative to anybody else, they will just pound you on compensation always. The other place that I’ve seen problems in this is when they have what I would call poor referent groups. These mercenaries are going to change jobs every year or two, maximizing their income.

One of the things that people do is go on and just plug in a job title and assume that their title matches the exact same job and then they wonder why it’s 30 grand less. When you are looking at compensation, you need to look at the actual responsibilities of the person and the actual responsibilities of whatever job you’re comparing it to. Sometimes a VP isn’t a VP and a director isn’t a director.

Here are some important tips for any organization. For details, listen to the podcast.

  • You need to have a job banding framework with market data for job families within that band.
  • You need to be careful about what you incentivize.
  • For sales, you need to figure out the right mix of base pay vs incentive pay.
  • For sales, you start earning your bonus or your incentive, whatever, whether it’s commission or it’s a management deal at 80% – a pretty healthy percentage of last year’s number. And you earn it as we go from 80 to a hundred.
  • For executives, the target to open the pool of money is the EBITDA. Typically it’s your EBITDA budget and everybody has a different view on this. Some companies start paying it at 75% of target. I’ve never seen anyone go below 75. But yeah, typically, but it’s not over prior year, it’s at that 80, 85% of budget.
  • Compensation and employee value must be aligned.
  • Equity adjustments are important to ensure competitive wages.
  • Critical benefits – 401K match, flexibility to work from home, mental health benefits, financial counseling, maternity and paternity leave

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Thank you to our Guest

Kim Conklin

KC Consulting works with C-level and corporate management to address Change, Turnaround, Growth, and HR Processes. Our specialties include Interim CHRO assignments, Organization and HR Assessments, implementation of Talent Management, Performance Management, and Leadership Assessment Processes as well as Executive Coaching.

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The CEO Project. The CEO Project is a business advisory group that brings high-caliber, accomplished CEOs together. Our team of skilled advisors is comprised of current and former CEOs who have run both public and private sector companies across multiple industries. With our experience and expertise, we guide hundreds of high-performing CEOs through a disciplined approach that resolves constraints and improves critical decisions. The CEO Project has helped high-performing, large enterprise CEOs with annual revenues ranging from $20M to over $2 billion to drive growth and achieve optimal outcomes. If you are an experienced CEO looking to grow your company, visit