Compensation Strategies to Improve Employee Morale Page 01

Today's workers no longer foresee job security; they expect to be rewarded in some manner for excellent work, especially if the remuneration helps enhance their marketability. The strategies outlined below can be applied to nearly any industry. In a day and age where organisations are struggling to keep employee attrition down, innovative compensation strategies and a paradigm shift in the approach to compensation management has led to a more professional and mutually beneficial relationship. The old contract guaranteed employee loyalty and commitment in exchange for implicit promises of lifetime employment and tenure-based advancement. Given the business realities of the past decade, today's psychological contract requires that companies offer their workforces explicit time bound exchanges of rewards for performance, particularly rewards that enhance an individual's marketability.

The following are strategies for motivating employees under the new covenant:

Paying for Competencies

Analyze key organizational positions to determine what competencies- that is skills, knowledge, attributes- differentiate average from outstanding performance., Particularly those competencies most critical to achieving the organization's future focused objectives. Once determined, these competencies offer an empirically based standard against which to compensate employees.

In addition to expanding position, salary bands, competency-based compensation might involve merit-based pay, spot bonuses, year end bonuses., stock options, or other rewards predicated on outstanding performance- instead of hierarchical advancement.

Promoting for Development

The notion of building professional and behavioral competencies also forms a solid basis for planning development. Instead of moving people into "bigger" jobs, a competency-based approach might focus on providing targeted experiences in employees' current jobs- for example, special projects, task forces, or other temporary assignments- that promote important skills, knowledge, and behaviors.

The key to making this approach succeed is clearly communicating what competencies are needed and providing human resources systems that foster their development. One way to meet these objectives is to post development opportunities that build key competencies, just as organizations frequently post open positions. Employees who want or need to acquire a particular competency can then apply for these opportunities.

Posted opportunities may be temporary assignments in different parts of the company, opportunities to act as mentors or coaches for new hires, or part time assignments that enlarge someone's current responsibilities. In addition to enhancing employees' skills and