Compensation

What is Compensation?

Agreed-upon payment to an employee for work or services performed. Also known as “salary” (if a set amount of money per calendar period) or “wage” (if an amount of money offered per hour of work performed). A “Compensation Package” encompasses not just base compensation, but benefits as well.

Example

Our Directors’ Compensation is $250,000 per year, plus benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Compensation Package?If base Compensation covers the dollar amount paid to an employee (either in the form of a salary or an hourly wage), a Compensation Package encompasses both that base Compensation as well as any benefits, such as health care, retirement accounts, investment matching, profit sharing, paid time off (PTO), flexible working hours, etc. Some employers may attempt to put a dollar figure that “values” the entire Compensation Package.
  • How do you set Compensation properly?Proper Compensation is always hard to determine, as it’s based on a multitude of factors, and employers work hard to determine Salary Bands that are both reasonable and attractive. Fundamentally, a market-appropriate Compensation amount is one that is within the employer’s budget while also being comparable to similar positions in the industry and geographical area. 
  • Should job candidates negotiate Compensation?While negotiating Compensation has long been part of the hiring process, in recent years, many organizations have moved to non-negotiable hiring strategies – the Compensation package offered by the hiring organization is what it is, no negotiating allowed. The benefits of this are budgeting predictability for the employer, along with increased safety against discrimination concerns (for example, male applicants’ greater confidence in negotiating is often seen as a basis for gender pay disparity).However, in order for a non-negotiable hiring strategy to succeed, it requires Salary Transparency on the part of the employer – job candidates need to know what the Compensation and Salary Band is early on and understand that it’s non-negotiable, so they can make an informed decision about continuing with the hiring process.
  • When does an employee deserve higher Compensation?Internal Compensation adjustments vary widely across fields and from organization to organization. Many employers offer cost-of-living raises annually, but offer no other Compensation increases until an employee receives a promotion. Others offer raises based on seniority, job performance, profitability, and more. While there is no “right” answer to how raises should be offered and when, employers will benefit from doing routine Compensation audits to ensure that employees are being paid fairly, as this will help maintain employee spirits and decrease costly and demoralizing turnover.

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