Compensation Projects

The Compensation Services Department at Employers Resource Association (ERA) provides the following fee-for-service projects:

    • at a price that is far below market averages (since we are a non-profit membership organization),
    • from professionals with years of practical real-world experience, and
    • with a design that is individualized to meet your needs.

Project Types Include:

Comparing Your Pay Structures and Practices Against the Market

All companies need to maximize the value received from their compensation programs. You want to pay enough to attract new employees and to retain current ones, but you also need to know if you are paying too much. In order to do this, you need to know how your employees compare against your competition in both base pay and bonus/incentive compensation, for each of your separate positions. ERA is equipped to make a detailed analysis of your current pay, for each of your employees, and compare them against your competitive market:

  • by same type of industry/organization,
  • by same size (revenues/assets/budgets), and
  • by same location (in any city in the U.S.A, and even in some foreign countries).

Creating New Pay Structures or Revising Current Structures

Have you reached the stage where you need to develop new job grades and salary ranges so that you are paying your employees fairly and equitably relative to each other…or relative to the job market? Do you have an old pay structure that you know is out-of-date, and you are having increasing difficulty in hiring outside people into this structure…or keeping current employees within it? Are you using a pay structure that most people at your organization do not understand or that costs a prohibitive amount to update, by an external consulting company? ERA can provide solutions to these problems that will address your specific needs and make you more confident that your dollars are being spent wisely.

Job Description Review, Revision, or Creation

Many employers have found that their current job descriptions are not compliant with the most recent changes in federal regulations and/or are not classified properly with regard to whether the position should be Exempt or Non-Exempt. ERA can keep you both confident and compliant by reviewing your descriptions and making the necessary changes, or by creating new descriptions. Considering the staggering financial penalties assessed by the Department of Labor for Wage and Hour violations, more and more employers see this area as part of their routine fiscal audit processes.

Creating or Revising Incentive and Bonus Programs

Are you a proponent of pay for performance…and more pay for more performance? ERA has extensive experience in creating bonus and incentive programs that focus on the bottom line… increased profits, higher production, more sales, etc. ERA also can advise you regarding whether or not your current programs are effective. For example, are your sales goals in conflict with each other, rewarding increased sales volume while ignoring decreased sales profits? Do your production incentive programs reward for increased productivity alone, while also increasing error rates and/or product waste cost? Or does the incentive program have the effect of increasing customer complaints about quality or service? Everybody wants to increase earnings, but have you checked for these types of unintended consequences?

Performance Management

If you want to have a pay-for-performance organization, you need pay-for-performance systems. ERA can assist you in establishing performance measures and tracking systems, including performance matrixes as a means of administering your pay program. If you pay too much to non-performers, you minimize your ability to pay enough to retain those who are driving the success of your organization. The process of reviewing employee performance often develops into something similar to a “visit to the dentist” for the parties involved. The pain associated with the process is often more of a perceived nature than it is a reality. The person(s) charged with the responsibility for conducting the review often struggle with many issues. They must decide what factors should be rated; how to ensure the fairness of the review; what to say, and what not to say during the review; and, how to keep personalities out of the review. The employee being reviewed has an equal, if not a greater fear of the review process. The employee’s feelings of dread are based upon concerns such as: I am being “judged”; my “future” may ride on the outcome; I already know that I am not a top performer; or, I do not have a clear understanding of the factors on which I am being rated. Due to these struggles and fears, Employers Resource Association has developed a program that is designed to help break down barriers and ease the pain for all of the participants in the review process. Components of a Sound Program Employers Resource Association will guide you through the process of developing and maintaining a sound Performance Management Program.

  • Performance Factors-the basis of a sound program starts with the description of the job that the employee performs. Our professional staff can work with you to develop sound and legal job descriptions, which serve to establish the “factors” necessary to create a usable, and directly job-related performance review form.
  • Training the Rater-Employer efforts to establish a workable program are greatly enhanced when training is provided for the individuals charged with responsibility of conducting the reviews. We provide raters with the information, tools, and a formalized process to aid them in avoiding the “Common Appraisal Errors.”
  • The Coaching Technique-Raters must have the ability to change any poor performance from the “actual” to the “should” as soon as possible. This technique, a part of our customized program, provides necessary documentation for the rater at later review dates.
  • The Performance Discussion-The time, place, setting and general physical characteristics surrounding the review discussion that takes place must be managed. The Association’s program will identify how to take care not to create a “dentist’s office,” a torture chamber, or other one-sided perceptions of the meeting.
  • Listening, Questioning & Probing-Raters must learn that the purpose of the discussions is the exchange of information. We show the rater how the exchange should occur to involve the employee, invite more employee conversation, and to secure employee commitment to action for future enhanced/improved performance.
  • New Goals & Follow-up-Setting performance goals is a natural result of a properly conducted performance review. Agreement on, and commitment to the goals to be achieved during the next rating period must be made by both parties. Our professionals assist in setting the goals and determining the necessary follow-up. Program Implementation

A Performance Review Program that is not understood and accepted by the participants is doomed before it begins. Utilizing its experience with the creating and implementation of such programs, Employers Resource Association will assist you in the creation, implementation and maintenance.

Pay Equity

Are you as concerned about the effects of your pay decisions as some of your employees are? Is there any possibility of pay discrimination, based upon gender, race, age, or disability? ERA can keep you compliant in this area by reviewing your current internal pay comparisons, promotion and job assignment decisions, and distribution of employees across job groups.

Total Compensation Statements

Total Compensation Statements provide your employees with a full picture of the costs associated with their employment. Most employers use these statements as a way to educate their employees about how the company is investing in them. Why is Creating a Total Compensation Statement a Benefit to Employers?

  • Demonstrates to the employees the employer/employee portions of total benefit costs.
  • Educates your employees about the total costs of medical, dental, vision, etc. insurance coverage.
  • Highlights benefits that may be under-utilized or not apparent to your employees.
  • Allow employees and prospective employees to compare their total compensation “apples to apples” with other offers, rather than focusing solely on the base salary.

What Should be Included in Total Compensation Statements? ERA can work with you to develop a Total Compensation Statement for your unique benefit package. We also have standard templates available and can give you advice about best practices. As a general idea, here are some areas that you commonly find in a Total Compensation Statement:

  • Cash Compensation
  • Health Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision, Health Savings Accounts, etc.)
  • Basic Life and AD&D Insurance
  • Short-Term and Long-Term Disability
  • Retirement Benefits (401(k), Profit Sharing, etc.)
  • Vacation/PTO and Holidays
  • Tuition Assistance/Reimbursement
  • Parking Subsidy
  • Childcare Programs
  • Uniform Expense