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5 Ways to Make Your Year-end Compensation Planning Easier

The Holiday Season is fast approaching. And, as compensation professionals we know what that means… It’s time again – for year-end compensation planning! Compensation Planning is one of the most important processes for compensation professionals and the most time consuming. This process is a key component of the Human Resources system by rewarding employees appropriately based on individual performance and business success. However, to often the majority of the time is spent collecting and manually analyzing data on spreadsheets, rather than ensuring rewards are aligned with individual and company performance.


Although compensation planning is a time-consuming process, there are ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of this key process, which will allow spending more time on analytics, achieving consistency across the organization, ensuring a strong linkage between performance and business outcomes, and appropriately rewarding employees. To make your process more efficient and effective consider using technology to support your year-end compensation planning process.


Many organizations employ a Human Resource Management Software Suite that includes, HRIS, Application Tracking, Time and Attending and a Learning Management System (LMS). One frame of thought is that this information is required and used throughout the year, therefore more important than an annual process. However, although compensation planning is an annual process, it is one of the most important processes to retain high performing employees and communicate company objectives and goals.


A few years ago, I implemented compensation software to augment our new performance management and compensation-planning model. My initial thought was to use the compensation software included in the suite that the company used for HRIS, Time and Attendance, Applicant Tracking and Employee Self Service. After describing my requirements for software to support our compensation planning process, I realized that I needed to look at other choices. Our selection team elected to go with another product which better supported our process. Although it was a different brand, integration was seamless and we had a product that reduced the amount of time for the process and provided us with analytics to make the correct decisions. Besides supporting the process, were able to really analyze rewards in relationship to key performance metrics of the organization and ensure that high performers were truly rewarded. We were also able to have some time off during the holidays!


If you want to make your year-end compensation process more efficient and effective, consider the following


1. If your planning consists of spending time on collecting recommendations on a spreadsheet rather than focusing on analyzing linkage between business results and compensation, alignment with key business metrics, rewarding high performers and ensuring consistency across the organization, consider using software to support or improve your process.

2. If you have compensation software, but it isn’t providing the analytics that you need to ensure that employees are being rewarding appropriately, consider augmenting or replacing the software that you currently have in place.If your current software provider has an upgraded product, check it out!

3. If you’re not sure that you have the best or don’t know what compensation planning software can offer, see what’s in the market and arrange for demos to compare with what you already have in place or have on your “wish list”.

4. If your process is a “fire drill” rather than a focus on an important process, you may want to try something different.


If it’s too late to make a change this year, it’s not too early to prepare for next year. Happy Planning!

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