Benefits and Compensation

Make Your Compensation Work Across Generations

In yesterday’s Advisor, we looked at the first two of Payscale’s five compensation tips for workers at all stages of their careers, referencing their report, Compensation Challenges for a Multi-Generational Workforce. Today, we’ll take a look at the rest of the list.

Click here for yesterday’s article, outlining recommendations #1 and #2.

  1. Review your open positions and identify what skills are needed for those jobs. Are those skills trainable? Is there someone internally who might be able to fill that position given adequate training? asks Mykkah Herner, Payscale’s Head of Expert Services and one of the report’s authors. “Is yours an organization that has struggled because of the actual or perceived skills gap?

“If so, maybe it’s time to get real: Which of the skills you are seeking are trainable? What programs do you have in place to train internal staff so you won’t be in the same position again in the future? Transition is here to stay, so even if an employer finds ideal candidates now, there is no guarantee they’ll stay with the organization forever.”


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  1. Consider which of your Baby Boomers may be retiring in the short- or long-term. Have you identified folks in Generation X or in your Millennial population who may be groomed for those leadership roles? “Companies should develop a formalized succession plan that recognizes leadership skills the organization values and identify internal employees with leadership potential, then foster those skills in your star performers,” Herner advises.

He recommends asking a number of questions throughout the process: “What is the likelihood each will retire or move on in the next 5 to 7 years? What are the leadership skills that matter most in your organization? Do you need leaders with a strong vision? Which employees are charismatic and able to build enthusiasm across the employee population? Which ones are more pragmatic? Which have a strong business sense? Or is it more important for your leaders to be able to sell your organization to outside investors or customers?"

  1. Begin a conversation with your executives about the appropriate level of transparency relative to your pay plan in the organization. “After taking an inventory of the workforce, employers should think about the organization’s culture and industry. Some more traditional industries (i.e., banking and manufacturing) avoid full transparency, while other value-driven organizations (nonprofits, for example) lean towards a high level of transparency. Newer, more innovative industries, such as progressive marketing firms and technology companies, may also adopt fairly high levels of compensation transparency,” Herner says.

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