Fair and Competitive Base Pay

In the February issue of WorldatWork’s Workspan publication, Sandra McLellan and Laura Sejen with Willis Towers Watson authored an article titled, “Cracking the Case of Stagnant Wages”.  The authors make a compelling case for the reasons why employee base pay wages have been flat since the economic depression of 2008.  The authors provide sound reasoning why the annual employee performance evaluation and merit increase process is not an effective compensation management tool in today’s environment where work is more “event-driven” instead of annual performance focused.

McLellan and Sejen support the ongoing transition from annual performance evaluations that are laborious and disliked by employees and managers to more frequent employee check-ins that coincide with achieving impactful goals and position life cycle progression.

The authors recommend replacing the annual merit increase and annual performance review process with a commitment to “fair and fully competitive base pay,” where employees’ base pay increases will vary in size and frequency.

At Johanson Group and DB Squared, LLC, we encourage and support the authors’ advocacy for employers’ commitment to “fair and fully competitive base pay” and we have evangelized this compensation philosophy for over three decades.  A “fair and fully competitive base pay” is achievable with a proven internal job valuing system that is validated with external market pay comparisons. The combination of an internal and external compensation management system will provide the basis for equitable and competitive career life cycle position progressions that chart the way from entry-level positions to top decision-making positions that drive results for public and private organizations.

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