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MorganHR Podcast – Aligning Comp to Culture and Strategy | Episode 1

MorganHR Podcast – Aligning Comp to Culture and Strategy | Episode 1

Aligning Comp to Culture and Strategy

by Laura Morgan

Listen to the podcast here >

I guess this is where I’d say that you need to identify key programs that you have, and then actually deliberately determine how they link to your culture.

I start with base salary, you know, when you review a base salary, and you know, you’re ensuring that they’re competitive every year do you actually communicate that?

  • Do you share the results and the ranges so that your employees know that you’re investing in understanding their base salaries?
  • Do you have actually tenure based programs?
  • Do you value tenure?
  • If you search for longevity?
  • Do you want to have people feel committed to the business from a longer perspective?

Let’s start off with a simple one, do you actually have an awards program that is either monetary, or do you give them a cash award or non-monetary that people receive a public announcement? Or do you share the non-monetary recognition across your company in your newsletter?

I think there’s also I hear conversations about entrepreneurial spirit companies Well, in order to see if that’s true, you might have people that, you know, get exposed to the impact of the company. And if you’re really entrepreneurial, and in the good years you gain, and in the harder years, you might lose. If you really want to have an entrepreneurial spirit within your culture, you would have more opportunities for people to see and understand and actually have a financial impact on their take on how to be an entrepreneur.

On the other side, if you’re paternal. I usually use this as an example, if you remember the old movie with Scrooge or the play. And the original apprentice boss of Scrooge Fezziwig… Fezziwig was very, I would envision he was a way to say I’m going to be discretionary. If you make me happy from a paternal perspective, I’m going to give my child or my employee a good increase or a good reward. If I’m not happy, I would then not reward, so I also look at paternal kinds of environments that are very guarded to keep people focused on what makes the leader happy and strategically aligned but a little bit more in the dark for their employees.

So it’s not right or wrong. It’s just to know your culture. And then from there, do you align your rewards programs as such?

MorganHR’s Bi-Annual Benefits Study 2022

MorganHR Bi-Annual Benefits Study 2022

Anyone who has ever tried to keep up with the latest changes in the world of employee benefits knows that it can be a full-time job in itself. Keeping track of all the changes can be a daunting task. That’s where our bi-annual Benefits Study comes in. You might be surprised at how much potential there is for creating a benefits package that employees will love.

Designed to keep you up-to-date on all the latest developments in the world of employee benefits, the study covers a wide range of topics, including new benefit programs, changes to existing ones, and emerging trends.

 

 DOWNLOAD NOW > 

 

Our latest study breaks down:

  • Many “common” employee benefits
  • Some rather unique and extraordinary programs
  • The adoption of rather special plans with a focus on
    Family: “baby bonding time” for all new parents and a more extended leave period;
    Wellness: gym and wellness memberships, access to the Headspace app, and a Mental Wellness program for all employees;
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 

The pandemic has brought about many changes, some of which may be here to stay. One such change is the rise of TeleHealth, or tele-medicine. As the world adapts to the new normal, among other findings this study highlights, TeleHealth seems likely to become an increasingly popular way to receive medical care.

Laura Morgan
Managing Partner | MorganHR

MorganHR takes a holistic view of benefits and how they are integral to success or failure in attracting, motivating, and retaining employees. We provide this analysis as an expert consulting firm that has helped many organizations with their comprehensive talent strategy by designing compensation management plans that align appropriately along organizational lines while also considering performance metrics from various levels within those companies’ hierarchies.

I think it would be invaluable for you to read this report. If you’re interested in learning more, I’d be happy to set up a call with you.
Book a free consultation with Laura Morgan!

Compensation Trends for 2023: How are you showing your employees that they are valued?

MHR - Creating the ideal employee experience (1)

At MorganHR, we believe that a little recognition can go a long way. As we close out 2022 and begin preparing for 2023, now is an excellent time to take a look at recent compensation trends in the United States. The labor market is one of the most complicated in recent history, with hiring on a steady upward trajectory but an increase in inflation concerns putting many plans off.

It’s no secret that the workforce is changing. Gone are the days when employees would stay with the same company for their entire careers. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for people to change jobs every few years. And while there are many reasons for this, one of the most significant is the employer-employee dynamic. 

Leadership is offering more benefits, but also more flexibility

Thanks to the ever-growing list of employee rights and benefits, employees now have more power than ever before. As a result, employers must work harder to keep their employees happy. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing them to a competitor. This is reflected in the top reasons executives cited for their employees leaving voluntarily. Career change still ranked highest (41%), but poor work-life balance (36%) and disengagement or burnout (30%) were right behind. This shows that employees are no longer willing to put up with an unsatisfactory work situation. They would rather move on to something better. So, if you want to keep your employees happy and prevent them from leaving, you need to create a work environment that is conducive to their well-being.

CEO Benchmarking Report found that 37% of respondents offer new or more generous benefits, while 33% introduced flexible work options. Those responses were closely followed by more frequent days off and changes to roles or job requirements (both 29%) as the top strategies for turning back turnover. It’s more evidence that no one has the perfect answer, but most businesses are trying something to retain their workers. So, what are you doing to keep your employees happy? If you’re not sure, now might be a good time to ask them.

Three out of five organizations plan to increase their payroll budget next year

According to WorldatWork’s Salary Budget Survey, salary increase budgets reached their highest level in 20 years in the United States, rising to an average of 4.1% in 2022 with a 3.8% median. This is good news for employees as they head into negotiations for the coming year. Here’s a closer look at what the data tells us about compensation trends in the United States. 

Even with the global pandemic, organizations are planning to increase pay budgets in 2023. In fact, US organizations are projecting an average salary increase budget of 4.1% for 2023, up from 3.9% in 2020 and 3.7% in 2021. These increases come as organizations seek to attract and retain top talent in a highly competitive market. In addition, many organizations are using salary increases as a tool to reward employees for their hard work and dedication during difficult times. 

Not all employees will see the same level of increase, however. While the average budgeted salary increase is 4.1%, the median budgeted salary increase is 3.8%. This suggests that there will be some variability in pay increases from organization to organization. In addition, certain groups are more likely to see higher salary increases than others. For example, employees with highly specialized skills or experience are typically rewarded with larger increases than entry-level or early in their careers. Similarly, workers who have performed well above expectations are often rewarded with larger salary increases than those who have met or exceeded expectations but have not gone above and beyond.

Creating a Market-Competitive Employee Experience

A lot has been said about the importance of providing a great employee experience. But what does that really mean? And why is it so important? Quite simply, the employee experience is everything that an employee encounters during their time with a company, from the onboarding process to their day-to-day work tasks and responsibilities, to the way they are managed and developed, to their benefits and compensation. And sometimes, this might weigh even more than their wages.

In order to create a great employee experience, companies need to take a strategic and holistic approach that takes into account all of these different elements. This can be a challenge, especially as companies look to be more market-competitive in their practices and cost savings. However, it is possible to strike the right balance between these two imperatives by focusing on the needs of the current workforce and aligning them with the organization’s talent strategy. 

MHR - Creating the ideal employee experience

The first step in creating a great employee experience is to understand what your employees need and want. You can’t just assume that you know what’s best for them – you need to ask them directly what would make their working life better. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews. Once you have a good understanding of what your employees are looking for, you can start to put together a plan to improve their experience.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all employees are the same. Different people will value different aspects of their job and have different needs. As such, it’s important to tailor your approach to each individual. Some may appreciate more flexible working arrangements, while others may prefer more development opportunities or better compensation. The key is to find the right mix of elements that will appeal to the majority of your workforce.

The Take-Away

It’s important to remember that the employee experience doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it happens within the context of the overall organizational culture. To truly create a great employee experience, companies need to focus on creating a positive and supportive culture where people feel valued and respected. This can be achieved through initiatives such as training managers on how to best support their team members, encouraging open communication channels between employees and management, and providing opportunities for employees to give feedback on their experiences. 

Creating a great employee experience is essential for any organization that wants to attract and retain top talent. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t something that can be achieved overnight – it requires careful planning and execution. By taking into account the needs of your workforce and aligning them with your talent strategy, you can create an employee experience that will set your company apart from the competition.

Further Steps

We know that your compensation strategy is key to success. That’s why we offer deep experience in base salary benchmarking, incentive program development, and total rewards for you or any other members within the organization who need help with their workforce planning needs! Check out our latest insights on compensation strategy or contact us for other helpful resources.

All About the Money?  Digging Beyond the Conversations About Pay.

Join us for our next complimentary session in our Compensation Conversation Series Click Here To Register

We often have conversations about this topic as employees and leaders, but sometimes we don’t ask for what we really want or need.

Our manager comes back and says, “I was able to get you an additional 1% adjustment.” Yeah! The lights are flying…for that fleeting moment we are a bit motivated…but then it passes; come on, everyone’s been there.

I remember the time I asked my boss for a larger merit increase. The budgeted amount was 3%, and I ended up getting a 5%. Yay!

Do you think the extra 2% of my salary motivated me to stay?

Did I take on more projects and work longer hours because they gave me an additional 2%?

No, I didn’t factor in what that additional 2% would be at all.

What motivated me is something else:

A conversation followed where they recognized my value to the team and the company.

They empowered me and trusted me to take on more responsibility and work on a variety of new projects.

They cared about what I wanted to do. Which is what I really wanted!

Don’t get me wrong, money is important. Everybody wants to be paid fairly for the work they do. My point is if you are compensated fairly at a company, you are not going to leave because of an extra 2% increase elsewhere.

According to The Work Institute Survey people leave because they need career development, opportunities for growth, the work environment, and management behavior. Pay didn’t even make the top 10.

If you have ever wanted to discuss your pay, my challenge for you is to dig a bit deeper.

Maybe there’s something in it for both of us? You may find that the conversation becomes richer if we understand what motivates each other.

Maybe you were not feeling valued?

Perhaps work was just not challenging enough?

Perhaps an opportunity arose, and now it is time for a career change. I encourage all readers- myself included- to dig deep and be patient with people as they explain their motivations.

We can make sure our work aligns accordingly with them.

If we dig deeper, this whole conversation will become more fun and impactful!

Join us for our next complimentary session in our Compensation Conversation Series Click Here To Register

How to Have the Compensation Conversation? Handling the Compensation Curve Ball

Join us for our complimentary session, Compensation Best Practices Every Leader Should Know on December 14th! Click Here To Register

Compensation Curveball

Handling the Compensation Curve Ball

How often as a leader do you get thrown one of these curveballs? Do these often come at the end of a check-in conversation with an employee?

  • Why did we just bring in a new team member higher in pay than I am?
  • What is the salary range for the job above me?
  •  What can I do to get an increase in my pay?
  • What is the salary range for my job, how can I make more?
  • I did my research, and my job is being posted in other companies for more money?

How many times have you had to “punt” your best guess answer because you felt you had to answer at the moment? Do you think your employee left the conversation excited and motivated?

As a leader, how many times have you had the same questions about your own pay?

Think back to your own conversations throughout your career.

  • Remember how uncertain you were about when and how to bring up the conversation?
  • Remember when you finally had the courage to ask?
  • What conversations went well?

Was there a conversation where you left your manager’s office and thought “what just happened?” Perhaps you walked away a bit deflated and thought “I am never asking about my pay again.”

“I am never asking about my pay again.”

Let’s face it, this is not easy for the employee or the manager. After 25 years in Human Resources, I have heard and coached both sides, I have seen how we punt and misinterpret questions and answers, as well as intentions.  Many times, both people leave conversations being more frustrated and not really understanding the root of the question. Most often, it is not about the actual money at all.

It really doesn’t have to be this way. It is no one’s fault. Each leader is busy trying to reach their KPIs OR their own goals…. however they are being measured in their business. Let’s face it, I am pretty sure there isn’t a year-end celebration for managers that have had the most impactful and engaging compensation and performance discussions! But maybe there should be.

According to the recent Gallup Study: It takes a pay increase of 20% to lure employees away from managers that engage them.

Bottom Line:

Great managers reduce turnover more effectively than any other role in your organization.

So, invest in your managers!

At MorganHR we have listened to clients and our SimplyMerit customers. The questions managers have about compensation are often the same. They range from understanding compensation in their organization to being equipped to have the best conversations with their employees. After we dig a bit deeper, the reasons behind the questions are also the same, people want to feel valued, engaged, have the transparency and feedback to make an impact. They want to feel fulfilled at work and in their personal lives.

How can we set our leaders up for success?

At MorganHR, our Auxin Group Development program has designed a series of sessions to help leaders have engaging compensation conversations. Our goal is to provide a safe place for leaders to learn, collaborate, and practice. We want leaders to not only be able to answer questions but, have the confidence to invite the conversations!

All of our workshops are 60 minutes while keeping the busy leader in mind!

Join us for our complimentary session, What Your Employee Really Wants To Know on December 14th! Click Here To Register

Are You Engaged in Your Work? 

By Laura Morgan, Managing Partner at MorganHR 

Although it may not be easy to tell whether you are truly engaged in your career, there are many signs that you can look for. For those who are looking for a new job, it is important to know the difference between being unengaged and disengaged at work. Working towards goals and being passionate about your work can be difficult to do, but it is necessary if you want to have a fulfilling career. Here are some things to look out for that might indicate you should reevaluate your career. 

7 Signs That You Are Engaged In Your Work 

  1. You’re excited about the things you’re learning & doing 
  2. You’re exceeding expectations 
  3. You look forward to completing tasks 
  4. You adopt the vision, values, and purpose of your company 
  5. You’ve applied for new projects 
  6. You feel like your career is heading somewhere (in the right direction) 
  7. You feel confident that you are valued at work and that you belong 

The Difference Between Unengaged and Disengaged 

Unengaged employees are not willing to go the extra mile. They still complete tasks, but only to the bare minimum. They are ones that might be excessively late or often absent, and their work isn’t up to the standard expectation. Productivity plummets with unengaged employees, and everyone pays the price.  

Worse still are disengaged employees. They are not present at all and tend to drag their feet while completing tasks if they finish them at all. They do not represent the values of the company, and they are completely unmotivated. It is difficult to work with disengaged employees since they are missing any sort of motivator to get the job done.  

What To Do If You Aren’t Engaged 

Before talking to your supervisor, try to understand why you aren’t engaged. Ask yourself a few of these questions to get to the root of the problem:  

  • Am I lacking variety? 
  • Am I confident about the work I do? 
  • Do I feel that I have control in my job? Is that important to me? 
  • Have I achieved a goal of mine recently? 
  • Do I feel that my job has value? 
  • Do people notice my success? 
  • Do I feel that I belong on my team? 
  • Am I on the path to moving up the organizational hierarchy?  
  • Does my pay feel fair, relevant, and right? 

Engagement is key to success in your job. The best way to be engaged is to be aware of your motivators and make sure that you are always reaching for them.  

We recently conducted a survey on Career (re) Engagement
Here are the results of our survey:
  • The majority feel that they are not on track with their personal goals and life plans.
  • The majority feel like they are not on track with their workplace goals and life plans.
  • The majority do not have a development plan that focuses on professional and personal goals.
  • The results of our survey certainly match the current climate. The Turnover Tsunami, The Talent Tsunami, and The Great Resignation are mainstream, real, and profound.
  • The current effects of the pandemic have given the workforce a renewed energy, a new way to look at their career and life decisions.

Click here to see the full survey results

Can You Operate a Forklift?

By Laura Morgan, Managing Partner at MorganHR 

How difficult can it be? Most would think that it would be similar to driving a car, that they’re intuitive enough to figure it out on the first try. And they would be wrong. Operating a forklift is much more challenging than it might seem. It requires training and great care to do it well, otherwise, you’ll end up wreaking havoc on the warehouse. It’s a process that is far more complicated than you might think, so let’s leave it to the professionals.  

What else can you think of that is more complicated than you might have originally thought? How about HR? Luckily for you, we have a team of HR experts that are trained to simplify your compensation and organizational design processes. No longer will you have rampant job descriptions, cheap job titles, nor a lack of confidence surrounding your compensation cycles. MorganHR is here to unCOMPlicate things for you and your business.  

It’s no question that comp is complicated. There are all sorts of factors involved in calculating an employee’s pay, including their salaries, bonuses, and benefits. Manually trying to figure out how much an employee will earn can be a headache. Not only do you have to calculate their pay rate and any applicable taxes, but you also need to add up all the other pieces that might be applicable, like overtime wages, commissions, tips – and then find out what their wages will be in different currencies. Imagine how much time you’d save if you had a configurable system to simplify your compensation cycles. SimplyMerit is the cloud-based solution that empowers managers to make informed decisions regarding their employees’ merit, bonus, and equity allocations to ensure that everything feels fair, relevant, and right.  

Are your employees confident in their compensation? It’s the best way to keep them engaged in their career. If you take money off of their worry list, they can spend more time focused on their growth and development both in and out of the office. Compensation conversations can be challenging and complicated. That’s why MorganHR has a team of expert coaches that will help you as a manager fill your toolbox with the skills you need to navigate those conversations efficiently and effectively while keeping your employees happy.  

You might get the hang of driving a forklift, just like you might get the hang of compensation. But why settle for might? Take the guesswork out of the equation and let us unCOMPlicate things for you.   

How to Prevent Job Titles from Losing Their Value?

By Laura Morgan, Managing Partner at MorganHR

Job titles are not free, so why are companies passing them out like candy?

If you’re not careful, wrongly staging your employees’ careers could be like promoting a first grader to eighth grade. They will lose out on necessary skills that are taught along the path and will end up being in an artificially high position with more responsibilities (and expectations of their own) than you intended. How to Prevent Job Titles from Losing Their Value?

Title inflation is nothing new.

HR departments have been rebranding their employees with creative titles for a while now. But has this had a negative impact on our work culture? The proliferation of new job titles may be an attempt to make oneself look better than what they are, or it could simply be an attempt to distinguish between different levels of responsibility within a department. It could also be seen as an opportunity to create a more inclusive and empowered workforce. Whatever the reasoning behind it, there are some major issues that come along with title inflation, and it’s imperative that we prevent it from happening.

Let’s take a simple example to see what title inflation might look like.

Say you have an employee who is solely in charge of all of your marketing efforts. They aren’t an analyst, since that title implies the specialization of one avenue or process. They’re likely a director. But what is their actual title? If your instinct was to say Marketing Director, you’d be right! What happens when you assign them a Director of Marketing role? Suddenly someone who should, on average, be paid around $80k/year (according to Glassdoor in Chicago) searches their job title and finds that they should be making $128k/year. See the problem? Suddenly your Marketing Director is convinced they are underpaid, and they are likely going to come to you about it.

So, your Marketing Director is given a “Director of Marketing” title. Beyond the salary inconsistency, the employee now has Director of Marketing on their resume. There are certain skills that are learned while on the path from Director Right to Director Left, and making that leap inhibits that learning, much like my first to eighth-grade example earlier (unless you have a robust training plan that will get them up to speed before the first performance review). What if the seven-year-old were to transfer schools? Can they fulfill the role of an eighth-grader in this new environment? Most likely not, so why would you set your employees up for the same failure?

Having a fair and accurate organizational design is crucial for the confidence and success of your employees.

I encourage you to look into your own organization – are your job titles accurate to the work your employees are doing? If not, I am more than happy to help.

How to Prevent Job Titles from Losing Their Value?


Title inflation is nothing new. HR departments have been rebranding their employees with creative titles for a while now.

By Laura Morgan, Managing Partner at MorganHR

Job titles are not free, so why are companies passing them out like candy?

If you’re not careful, wrongly staging your employees’ careers could be like promoting a first grader to eighth grade. They will lose out on necessary skills that are taught along the path and will end up being in an artificially high position with more responsibilities (and expectations of their own) than you intended. How to Prevent Job Titles from Losing Their Value?

Title inflation is nothing new.

HR departments have been rebranding their employees with creative titles for a while now. But has this had a negative impact on our work culture? The proliferation of new job titles may be an attempt to make oneself look better than what they are, or it could simply be an attempt to distinguish between different levels of responsibility within a department. It could also be seen as an opportunity to create a more inclusive and empowered workforce. Whatever the reasoning behind it, there are some major issues that come along with title inflation, and it’s imperative that we prevent it from happening.

Let’s take a simple example to see what title inflation might look like.

Say you have an employee who is solely in charge of all of your marketing efforts. They aren’t an analyst, since that title implies the specialization of one avenue or process. They’re likely a director. But what is their actual title? If your instinct was to say Marketing Director, you’d be right! What happens when you assign them a Director of Marketing role? Suddenly someone who should, on average, be paid around $80k/year (according to Glassdoor in Chicago) searches their job title and finds that they should be making $128k/year. See the problem? Suddenly your Marketing Director is convinced they are underpaid, and they are likely going to come to you about it.

So, your Marketing Director is given a “Director of Marketing” title. Beyond the salary inconsistency, the employee now has Director of Marketing on their resume. There are certain skills that are learned while on the path from Director Right to Director Left, and making that leap inhibits that learning, much like my first to eighth-grade example earlier (unless you have a robust training plan that will get them up to speed before the first performance review). What if the seven-year-old were to transfer schools? Can they fulfill the role of an eighth-grader in this new environment? Most likely not, so why would you set your employees up for the same failure?

Having a fair and accurate organizational design is crucial for the confidence and success of your employees.

I encourage you to look into your own organization – are your job titles accurate to the work your employees are doing? If not, I am more than happy to help.

Repurposing Plastic and Other ESG Goals

By Amanda Morgan, Consulting Associate at MorganHR

LEGO, Patagonia, Nestlé, Procter and Gamble, Apple, and Unilever– what do these companies have in common? They’re working towards a transition from a linear to a circular plastics economy as a part of their ESG and DEI goals.

LEGO is changing the game by developing the prototype for 100% recycled PET plastic bricks. Patagonia has been changing the clothing game since ’93 by transforming discarded bottles into recycled polyester, and now they are incorporating production waste and old garments in their reach for reuse over-extraction. Nestlé is decreasing their use of virgin plastics by one-third, as well as reaching for 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025. Procter and Gamble are stretching for 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2030, but they’re starting with halving their petroleum-based plastic use by the end of this year. Apple is working to reduce the quantity of plastic packaging while also exploring the use of recycled and fiber-based alternatives for their petroleum and virgin plastics. Unilever is planning to decrease virgin plastic use by 50% within the next four years, and they are committed to designing reusable, recyclable, or compostable products while collecting and processing more plastic than is sold.

It’s no question that companies are placing a heavier focus on being environmentally friendly. Especially since climate change is such a hot topic. In fact, companies are starting to clearly communicate their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals. We took a look at the history of ESG and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) in the workplace after we held a discussion about how to read between the lines of a company’s proxy statement. We’re finding, as I’m sure you are, that more companies are adding their ESG and DEI goals to their proxy statements and other public communications. Why?

What is the purpose behind a company’s ESG/DEI statements and goals?

To answer that question in brief, I’d say values. Think about it: there is more than money behind decisions, right? Money is absolutely a motivator, but a company is built, designed, and led based on the culture and values that it stands behind. Not to mention that investors and other stakeholders are going to be more inclined to support a company whose values align with their own. ESG/DEI goals are another way for a company to display its values, and they are becoming ever more popular. So, let me ask you, what are your company’s ESG goals? How were they decided?

Some readers may have an immediate answer, as they either designed the goals themselves or have great internal communication. Others may have an idea of what they want their ESG goals to be but are not sure where to start, or even how to communicate that with the rest of the company. At MorganHR, we are always ready for what’s coming around the corner, so if you’re caught up in making informed and up-to-date decisions regarding setting ESG goals, let us help you.