Compensation Communication Deserves More Than an E-mail Blast

by Kara Deyermenjian - March 1, 2018
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The compensation landscape is changing. Employers are expected to step up to the plate and deliver ongoing compensation conversations and transparency to their employees. The good news? Communicating your pay plan can help create clarity around why people are paid a certain way, increase the perception that your pay plan is fair, and improve engagement.

It’s essential to implement a compensation communication plan, but there are many factors to consider before diving in. So, don’t hit send on an e-mail blast that outlines the details of your pay policy just yet – first consider the “what,” “how” and “who” involved in your communications.

Step 1: Defining Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Let’s start with the what. Before communicating your plan to the organization and your employee base, you need to define your employee value proposition (EVP). Understanding what motivates employees, and actively communicating about those aspects of your total rewards strategy can help employees grasp, and see the value in, your organization’s EVP.

Here are some elements of your total rewards strategy you should consider when developing your EVP:

  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Work-life balance
  • Flexible scheduling/telework options
  • Development opportunities

Step 2: Determining Your Channels

Once you’ve identified what you’re offering employees, it’s time to determine the channels you should utilize to distribute your pay policy information. It’s advisable to choose your channel(s) based on what type of message is being communicated, the level of formality, and who the message is directed towards (is it a corporate message intended for the whole company, or specifically for one individual?)

Here are some channel options you can utilize:

  • Annual employee earnings statements
  • Corporate newsletters
  • Lunch and learns
  • Individual emails to employees
  • One-on-one meetings

Step 3: Choosing Your Communicators

After successfully determining your channel(s), it’s important to consider who will be communicating on your organization’s behalf. Keep in mind that should vary depending on your organizational structure and what message is being communicated.

 Here are some examples of staff members who might deliver your messages:

  • People managers/supervisors
  • Department heads
  • HR business partners
  • CHROs
  • CEO or CFO

Step 4: Gathering Employee Feedback

It’s important to understand how your plan is being received by employees to continuously fine-tune your approach.

Here are some means of gathering employee and organizational feedback:

  • Formal meetings and trainings
  • One-on-one meetings with employees or managers
  • Employee focus groups
  • Appraisals and feedback sessions
  • Compensation committees

Step 5: Conducting an Audit

To ensure your total rewards communication strategy is operating effectively, you will want to conduct an annual audit of program performance.

Here are some questions you should gather data around to measure the effectiveness of your practices:

  • Was our messaging clearly linked to the overall business strategy?
  • Was our messaging clear and purposeful?
  • Was our messaging consistent across the year?
  • Do employees better understand our organization’s EVP?
  • Do employees better understand how their performance is linked to their pay?

Download Sample Compensation Plan:

Download our template for an example of how your compensation policy can work with other elements of a compensation plan.

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