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Developing a Compensation Plan, Step 6: Implementing Your Plan

This is a lesson from PayScale’s Modern Compensation Planning ecourse. Want access to all seven lessons? Sign up for the course!

With your compensation plan in hand, it’s now time to take all your preparations and begin to utilize your comp plan.

Analyze Employee Pay

Start by comparing your employees’ pay against their salary ranges. Most importantly, you will want to determine if you have any employees who fall below the minimum of the salary range (green-circled) or over the maximum of the salary range (red-circled). If you do have this situation, it’s time to apply your policy for handling outliers. You may find that the amount it will take to resolve the outliers is more than you can do at one time. In this case, consider a multi-year plan to resolve the pay issues.

Tip: Check out these great blogs on what to do if you’re overpaying or underpaying.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

Ultimately, you’ll want a clear communication plan for each level of your organization:

  • Update your executives with the status of pay at your organization.
  • Bring your managers into the know so they can help share compensation information with the employees they supervise.
  • Give your employees high level information about your compensation and talent goals.

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Here are a few interesting facts that, when combined, tell a pretty good story about the importance of communicating well about compensation:

  • From a 2015 PayScale study:
    • Perception of pay impacts employee satisfaction and intent to leave
    • Most employees don’t know if they’re paid fairly
    • 82% of employees are okay with low pay as long as the rationale is explained, highlighting the importance of explaining the WHY of pay
  • When it comes to communication,
    • 75% of conversations about pay happen between managers and employees (CEB)
    • Only 19% of companies say they are “very confident” in their managers’ abilities to have tough conversations about compensation with employees (PayScale’s 2017 CBPR)

You may have to train managers and provide them with some context and information about your compensation plan. Draft some talking points for your executives and managers to ensure consistency of message as you roll out your plan changes, in line with your transparency level.

Next Steps

Start analyzing your workforce. How many outliers are you finding? Begin drafting a plan for bringing pay current to market and/or resolving any inequities you may find. Also, start drafting your communication plan. Who needs to know what, when?

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