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Variable Pay

<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do We Move Away from Across-the-Board Salary Increases and Instead Tie Them Back to Performance

June 30, 2005
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As a nonprofit, we live and die by our budget. Recently, after freezing wages for two straight years, we managed to squeeze out a 3 percent increase for all employees. The fact that many people have waited so long for an increase made it difficult to slice and dice the relatively small amount of allocated dollars. Still, some employees are grumbling that flat increases aren’t fair. How do we get away from across-the-board increases and tie them back to performance, especially when dollars are scarce?
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Pay-for-performance Plan Helps Shrink Bank’s Turnover

April 27, 2005
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FirstMerit Bank started evaluating employees on their speed and accuracy. Employees’ performance and workplace morale are on the way up, and turnover rates are on the way down.
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Deflating Compensation

October 1, 2004
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If your salary-increase budget for 2005 is much higher than 3 percent, you're probably overspending. New survey data indicate that increases at large companies will average 3.5 percent next year, marking the fourth consecutive year of increases below the 4 percent average that characterized budgets before the economic downturn. What's behind the trend? Soft labor markets that will continue into 2005 and well beyond, increasing the need for annual pay increases designed for optimal hiring and retention. "There's no war for talent," says Mercer Human Resource Consulting's Steven Gross.
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Good-Bye to the Golden Age of Options

September 3, 2004
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Rules from the Financial Accounting Standards Board won't take effect until 2005 or later. But many companies are already refashioning their incentive plans, curbing the amounts of their option grants, limiting who is eligible, or both.
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Creating an Ownership Culture in the Workplace

August 13, 2004
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Congressman Cass Ballenger says that the changes he wants in the stock-ownership laws will help “bring a real ownership culture into the workplace.”
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Without a Plan for Replacing Options, Companies Could Lose Their Best People

August 13, 2004
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Mellon’s Ted Buyniski talks about what companies are doing in response to stock-option accounting proposals, and who’s really paying the price.
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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do I Compensate a Sales Manager Who&#8217;s Losing Commissions

May 21, 2004
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I have a commission-only sales manager who is being asked to conduct many managerial tasks, thus taking him away from sales. What are the typical responsibilities for commission-only positions? What should I do to compensate him for this?
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<i>Dear Workforce</i> What Are Your Thoughts About Bonuses

May 14, 2004
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What is the best approach for us to determine employee performance bonuses?
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<i>Dear Workforce</i> What's the Secret To Equitable Commissions

April 9, 2004
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How can I create a fair commission structure for advertising sales or association memberships?
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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do We Handle The Fallout When Our Secret Profit-Sharing Plan Gets Exposed

February 12, 2004
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For the past year, our company has had a secret profit-sharing program that includes 30 to 40 percent of the employees. The program was kept secret by order of the company president. Recently, some of the employees not receiving the bonus learned of the program and are threatening to quit and go to work for some of our competitors. We would really like to keep most of our employees. How should we handle this? What are the potential pitfalls of having this kind of program, and what can we do at this point for damage control?
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