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Train Managers on Compensation Philosophy & Effective Pay Communication

Prepare managers to effectively navigate pay discussions.


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  • Dr. Elena Belogolovsky, Assistant Professor, Cornell University, Department of Human Resources Studies, ILR school, Cornell University and co-author of “The Impact of Pay Secrecy on Individual Task Performance
  • Samantha Harak, CCP, Manager, Compensation at Softchoice
  • Syma Khan, CHRP, Senior Manager, Compensation at Loblaw Companies Limited and Director, Total Rewards for the Peel Chapter of the Human Resources Professional Association
  • Dr. Anita Orozco, Director, Human Resources, Sonneborne LLC.

Your Challenge

  • Compensation is a sensitive topic and poorly understood compensation and rationales behind compensation decisions can be demotivating and even lead to turnover.
  • Managers often don’t fully understand compensation philosophy, principles, and compensation plans themselves, which can lead to poorly thought-out compensation decisions and sharing misinformation with staff.
  • Managers find compensation conversations difficult and can fall back on “that is what HR told me to do” to avoid conflict rather than taking on a leadership role in compensation discussions.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Employee pay satisfaction and employee commitment to the organization go hand-in-hand. While employees' pay satisfaction is heavily influenced by their manager, most managers feel ill-equipped to discuss compensation.
  • Managers need knowledge of organizational pay practice and communication skills to have effective compensation conversations with staff.
  • McLean & Company’s employer-initiated and employee-initiated compensation conversation models will enable managers to have effective compensation discussions.

Impact and Result

  • Improve managers’ understanding of pay practice and how compensation decisions are made.
  • Increase managers’ comfort level in having compensation conversations with staff and improve the effectiveness of those conversations.

Research & Tools

1. Train managers on pay practices and effective compensation discussions

Increase the effectiveness of compensation conversations with staff.

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Search Code: 73982
Published: January 14, 2014
Last Revised: January 14, 2014