Compensation Review? “Just do it” like Nike

by Connor Harrison - August 3, 2018

Nike, the apparel, accessories, and sports equipment corporation, recently announced salary increases for 7,000 employees. In addition, the company is making changes to how it awards performance bonuses to its workers.

Nike’s pay overhaul comes after reports of pay inequity & gender disparity among employees, flanked by complaints of a “frat boy” culture that may have contributed to the departure of two long-time executives.

“When we discover issues, we take action. We are laser-focused on making Nike a more inclusive culture and accelerating diverse representation within our leadership teams,” CEO Mark Parker said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

About 10% of Nike’s 74,000 employees around the globe can expect salary adjustments. The changes will apply to both male and female employees at various levels and brands in the company. The adjustments will go into effect August 1st and be normalized over the course of the fiscal year, which began on June 1st.

Swift Policy Changes on the Horizon

Nike is also altering its awards program. Instead of overweighing individual and team performance to determine bonuses, payouts will primarily be based on a company-wide earnings target beginning each fiscal year. Certain employees will still have individual bonus targets, but the level that gets paid out will be uniform.

Nike’s significant and swift pay overhaul is quite unusual compared to the slow pace of HR-related changes in most organizations. But in this hot-blooded economy, the company was right to take its own slogan to heart and “just do it."

The War for Talent is difficult enough to navigate without added baggage. Companies shouldn’t wait for an internal incident or PR turmoil to address compensation issues. Prioritizing fair pay is not only the right thing to do, it’s also better for the bottom line. Pay equity and a progressive workplace culture are nonnegotiable to the thousands of workers currently seeking new jobs.


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